LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Valdosta State will christen defense of its 2012 national championship as the unanimous pick at No. 1 in the 2013 NFCA Division II Preseason Poll that was released by the Association on Wednesday.

The Blazers received all 16 possible first-place votes to hold down the top position while last season’s national runner-up UC San Diego (45-23) followed closely behind in second.

Kutztown (52-7), Angelo State (48-11) and Southern Connecticut State (43-13) rounded out the national top five, respectively.

Columbus State (40-20) jumped all the way from the “receiving votes” category in last year’s final listing to No. 10 in the 2013 preseason ranking, while Minnesota State Mankato (49-10) enjoyed a seven-position improvement from No. 13 up to sixth.

Joining the Lady Cougars as new additions to this year’s rating was Abilene Christian (30-18) at No. 22 and Dixie State (38-13) in a tie for No. 24.

Three squads departed from last year’s final poll as Florida Southern (No. 18), Winona State (No. 19) and Lenoir-Rhyne (No. 20) dropped into the “receiving votes” category

The NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll is voted on by 16 NCAA Division II head coaches, two representing each of the eight NCAA regions.

For the complete NFCA Division II Top 25 Poll please visit this link.

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