MLC volleyball picked 6th in UMAC preseason poll

Information courtesy of MLC Athletics

NEW ULM — The Martin Luther College volleyball team was picked to finish sixth in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Preseason Coaches’ Poll released on Wednesday.

The Knights finished the poll with 27 total points, 12 behind fifth-place Bethany Lutheran. Minnesota Morris and Northwestern-St. Paul tied atop the poll with 59 total points and four first-place votes apiece. UW-Superior was picked third with 51 points and one first-place vote.

MLC finished in sixth place in 2018 with a 7-9 conference record. The Knights entered the final week with a chance to earn the fifth and final spot in the UMAC Postseason Tournament, but lost a tough five-set match at Bethany Lutheran to miss the tournament for the first time since the 2009 season.

The Knights return many of their key contributors from last season, led by sophomore libero Katelyn Aswege, who was named Honorable Mention All-UMAC in 2018 after averaging 4.07 digs per set in her debut season.

Joining Aswege as experienced returners are outside hitter Kati Aguilar (2.24 kills per set), setters Jewel St. Germaine (4.83 assists per set) and Camryn Biebert (2.66 assists per set), outside hitter Kelsey Birschbach (1.67 kills per set) and Alyssa Heckendorf (0.98 kills per set).