Volleyball Tabbed as Runner Up in 2012 SAC Preseason Poll


ROCK HILL, SC -- Six-time defending South Atlantic Conference volleyball champion Wingate has been picked by the league’s coaches to win the league title again in 2012.  Catawba was tabbed second in the poll and placed three players on the preseason All-SAC squad.

The Bulldogs -- who enter 2012 with an 82-match SAC winning streak and a 50-match regular season winning streak intact – went 32-1 last season, won the Food Lion SAC Tournament title, and advanced to the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship regional final.  They also had three players on the preseason All-SAC team. 

Wingate received nine first-place votes in the poll with Catawba garnering the other top pick.  The Lady Indians went 22-7 in 2011 and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament.      Preseason picks Jordan Raye and Kaitlyn Whitmer were also first team All-SAC performers in 2011.  Libero Jenny Young was a second team selection in 2011.  All three were all named to the All-Southeast Region team last year.

Lincoln Memorial, another 2011 NCAA Volleyball Championship selection, was voted No. 3 in the 2012 preseason poll.  LMU will be led once again by preseason All-SAC First Team selection Blaire Fowler, who was also a first-team pick last year after the Railsplitters went 22-7 overall and 14-4 in league play. 

2011 NCAA Tournament selection Tusculum was picked fourth in the preseason coaches’ poll.  Three TC players earned spots on the preseason All-SAC Team, led by first-teamers Caitlyn Dean and Sam Underwood. 

Lenoir-Rhyne was voted No. 5 in the preseason poll, followed by No. 6 Mars Hill and No. 7 Carson-Newman. 

Newberry, which will be led by preseason All-SAC First Team pick Samantha Parrish, was picked No. 8 in the preseason poll.  The Wolves earned their first-ever bid to the NCAA Volleyball Championship last season. 

Rounding out the preseason coaches’ poll was Anderson at No. 9 and Brevard at No. 10.

SAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Wingate, 81 (9)
2. Catawba, 67 (1)
3. Lincoln Memorial, 63
4. Tusculum, 62
5. Lenoir-Rhyne, 45
6. Mars Hill, 37
7. Carson-Newman, 34
8. Newberry, 32
9. Anderson, 20
10. Brevard, 9

2012 Preseason All-SAC Volleyball Teams

First Team
Jordan Raye, Catawba
Kaitlyn Whitmer, Catawba
Blaire Fowler, Lincoln Memorial
Caitlyn Dean, Tusculum
Sam Underwood, Tusculum
Anna Hilton, Wingate
Cory McGowan, Wingate
Samantha Parrish, Newberry

Second Team
Shannon Gillespie, Anderson
Jenny Young, Catawba
Jennifer Drumm, Lincoln Memorial
Maggie Murphy, Mars Hill
Marissa Wixson, Mars Hill
Lauren Prachar, Newberry
Ashley Sarmiento, Tusculum
Grace Krauser, Wingate

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Volleyball Team Photo