August 18, 2010
Volleyball Picked Second in SAC Preseason Poll
ROCK HILL, SC -- Catawba was picked runner-up to four-time defending champion Wingate University in the 2010 preseason volleyball poll, voted on by the league's head coaches. Wingate received eight first-place votes and 98 total points out of a possible 100. Catawba garnered one first place vote and had 82 points. Newberry collected the other first place vote.
The Catawba Indians advanced to the Southeast Region tournament for the second year in a row last season. Shay Meeks and Kaitlyn Whitmer were named to the preseason All-Conference first team. Meeks was third in the conference in kills last season, while Whitmer was the Freshman of the Year.
Wingate placed five on the preseason All-Conference volleyball team. Stormi Gale, 2009 SAC Player of the Year, returns to the first team and is joined by Lauren Billo, Liz Willis and Maggie Malone at the libero position. Rebecca Bloemer was named to the second team. Billo led the SAC in hitting percentage last season, while Willis led the league in assists.
Carson-Newman College is picked to finish third with 77 points after finishing second last year and advancing to the championship of the Food Lion SAC Tournament and semifinals of the NCAA Southeast Region tournament. The Lady Eagles placed two on the preseason All-Conference team. Carly Mozgai was named to the first team, while Nikki James was named to the second team. Mozgai was among the league leaders in hitting percentage last season, while James ranked third in the league in blocks.
Lincoln Memorial University is picked to finish fourth with 69 points. LMU also placed two on the preseason All-Conference team. Lauren Kiwacka was named to the first team, while Candace Richardson was named to the second team. Kiwacka averaged 5.48 assists last season, while Richardson averaged 2.37 kills and 2.6 digs.
Tusculum College garnered 58 points to finish fifth in the poll. The Pioneers placed Sam Underwood on the preseason All-Conference second team. She averaged 2.13 kills and 2.59 digs last season. Lenoir-Rhyne University is picked to finish sixth with 49 points. The Bears placed Meredith Lutz on the preseason All-Conference second team. She finished third in the league in assists last season, averaging 9.69 per game.
Newberry College is the pick to finish seventh with 46 total points. The Wolves are represented on the preseason All-Conference second team by Kara Harris, who averaged 1.8 kills and 2.6 digs, and was among the conference leaders in service aces. New conference member Anderson University is picked to finish eighth. The Trojans placed Jamie Lancaster on the preseason All-Conference second team. She led the Conference Carolinas in kills last season with 4.35 per set, which ranked eighth nationally, and was a first-team All-Region selection.
Mars Hill College is picked to finish ninth with 24 points, while Brevard College rounds out the poll with 17 points. Brevard's Rebecca Schoonover, a preseason second-team selection at libero, rounds out the preseason All-Conference team. Schoonover averaged 4.59 digs per set last season.
The 2010 volleyball season begins Thursday, September 2 with Brevard at Converse. The rest of the league is in action on Friday, September 3, including tournaments at Anderson and Catawba.
The Food Lion SAC Tournament will be held at Catawba, with quarterfinal play on Friday, November 12. The semifinals are Saturday, November 13, with the championship set for Sunday, November 14. The top eight teams in the final regular season standings advance to the conference tournament. The winner of the tournament receives an automatic bid into the NCAA Division II Tournament.
2010 SAC PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL POLL
1. Wingate (8) 98
2. Catawba (1) 82
3. Carson-Newman 77
4. Lincoln Memorial 69
5. Tusculum 58
6. Lenoir-Rhyne 49
7. Newberry (1) 46
8. Anderson 30
9. Mars Hill 24
10. Brevard 17
(First place votes in parenthesis)
2010 SAC PRESEASON ALL-CONFERENCE TEAMS
Carly Mozgai, Carson-Newman
Shay Meeks, Catawba
Kaitlyn Whitmer, Catawba
Lauren Kiwacka, Lincoln Memorial
Lauren Billo, Wingate
Stormi Gale, Wingate
Liz Willis, Wingate
Maggie Malone, Wingate, libero
Jamie Lancaster, Anderson
Nikki James, Carson-Newman
Meredith Lutz, Lenoir-Rhyne
Candace Richardson, Lincoln Memorial
Kara Harris, Newberry
Sam Underwood, Tusculum
Rebecca Bloemer, Wingate
Rebecca Schoonover, Brevard, libero
|No events scheduled until August 24|