MARQUETTE - Coaches slotted Northern Michigan University near the middle of the pack in the GLIAC North Division this season after the league released its preseason poll on Tuesday.
The Wildcats were picked fifth in the eight-team North, two spots ahead of Michigan Tech and three ahead of bottom pick Lake Superior State.
NMU received 28 votes in the polling as preseason favorite Northwood earned 45, including five of eight first-place votes. The Timberwolves, despite being picked seventh in last year's preseason poll, won GLIAC regular season and tournament titles last year, also earning league Player of the Year with sophomore outside hitter Juliia Pakhomenko and Coach of the Year in Tim Koth.
Next in the North came Ferris State (two first places), Hillsdale (one first place) and Grand Valley State. Saginaw Valley State was a spot behind Northern in sixth.
In the South, top pick Ashland also received five first-place votes, with Wayne State, Findlay and Malone next.
Northern completed its 10th straight winning season and ninth consecutive in the GLIAC postseason tourney at 20-12 overall and 12-6 in league matches.