Volleyball Picked 8th in LSC Poll
SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS – West Texas A&M is favored to win its seventh consecutive Lone Star Conference championship, according to the 2012 LSC preseason volleyball poll announced Tuesday while Texas A&M-Kingsville is tabbed for the eighth spot.
The league's preseason polls reflect the opinions of LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus various media representatives from throughout the region.
The Javelinas finished the 2011 season with a 15-15 record and an appearance in the LSC Tournament. “We have a good group of girls coming back from last year,” said second year head coach Tanya Allen. “We are very strong defensively and hope to start the season out with a bang.”
The Hoggies return their top three offensive hitters and top two defensive stalwarts. Senior middle blockers Lakeshia Craft and Bethany Friesenhahn (Poth/Poth HS) combined for over 400 kills and nearly 140 blocks in 2011. Sophomore outside Kelsey Washington (Cuero/Cuero HS) earned LSC Second Team honors while pounding out 3.09 kills per set. Seniors Ali Insell (The Woodlands/The Woodlands HS) and Kalinda Graves provide the back line defense for the team. Insell averaged 4.82 digs per set as the libero in 2011 while Graves contributed 2.22 digs per set.
The 2012 volleyball season begins in late August, with 11 teams set to compete. LSC teams will use a one-conference double round-robin scheduling model, in which each team plays a home and away match against each of the other teams.
The LSC champion will be the regular season winner determined by league matches, while the postseason tournament winner is designated as LSC Tournament Champion and earns the conference’s automatic qualification. The top eight teams in the final conference standings qualify for the postseason tournament set for Thursday, Friday and Saturday, November 15-16-17, using the NCAA regional format at the No. 1 seed.
WTAMU (34-3 overall, 19-1 LSC) captured its sixth straight and 17th overall league title in 2011, but had its NCAA and LSC record 87-match winning streak against conference opponents dating back to 2006 stopped.
The Lady Buffs earned first-place votes on 21 of the 27 ballots for a total of 291 points. Angelo State earned five first-place nods to finish second with 269 points.
Abilene Christian was third with 227 total points, Tarleton State fourth (206), Texas Woman’s fifth (203 plus remaining first-place vote), Cameron sixth (130), Midwestern State seventh (125) and Texas A&M-Kingsville (112) eighth. Texas A&M-Commerce (96), Incarnate Word (93) and Eastern New Mexico (30) rounded out the poll.