High Point, NC- Pfeiffer University’s women’s volleyball team has been selected as the league favorite by Conference Carolinas head coaches for the 2009 season. The Lady Falcons set a new school record with 27 wins last year, surpassing the old mark of 20 wins in 2007. Overall, Pfeiffer racked up a 27-6 record with an impressive 18-2 mark in conference play to claim the regular season championship title.
Despite losing Petra Ljubicic, last year’s top offensive producer, the Lady Falcons will count on the senior leadership of Brittany Dickens and Victoria Parrish, hoping to guide a young Pfeiffer squad into the NCAA DII postseason. Both Dickens and Parrish played in all 33 matches and 130 games last season. Dickens gained honors as a first-team all-conference selection a year ago, finishing second on the team with 344 kills which ranked her in the top 20 of NCAA DII.
Last year’s conference coach of the year Ben Guiliano returns for his fifth season at the helm to guide the Lady Falcons. Like most league schools, Coach Guiliano and the Lady Falcons open up their season during the August 28-29 weekend.
The Limestone College women’s volleyball team is gearing up for another successful season and hopes to build on its success in the last few seasons. Limestone has posted a winning overall record every year since 2005, and has had a winning conference record since 2006. In 2008, Limestone finished third in the league’s regular season standings with a 15-5 record, and boasted an impressive 19-13 overall record.
Limestone’s fall lineup features the conference’s 2008 Player of the Year, middle hitter Melissa Thomas. Other key returners include seniors Chelsea Anthony and Brooke England, who will see playing time as defensive specialists and liberos. Key newcomers for the Lady Saints include senior middle and outside hitter Tierney Burdett, junior middle hitter Sam Johnson, and sophomore outside hitter Kassi Boedeker.
The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team comes in at the No. 3 spot in this year’s coaches’ poll. The Lady Bobcats are looking to return to the form that won ten conference championships in 11 years. Last season the team suffered an early exit from the tournament in a second round loss to Mount Olive. They also finished fourth in the regular season with a 14-6 league and 17-15 overall record.
"I am excited for this year," Head Coach Jamie Petrik said. "We have a solid group of senior leaders, and we are going to have battle inside the practice gym in the preseason for playing time. My hope is that the intensity will transfer onto the court for the season."
Rounding out the poll 4-11 was: Anderson & Mount Olive (tied), Queens, St. Andrews & Belmont Abbey (tied), Barton, Converse, Erskine and Coker respectively.
Conference Carolinas Women’s Volleyball Preseason Poll (# of First Place Votes in Parenthesis)
1. Pfeiffer (4) 107
2. Limestone (2) 101
3. Lees-McRae (2) 98
T-4. Anderson (2) 95
T-4. Mount Olive (2) 95
6. Queens 58
T-7. St. Andrews 57
T-7. Belmont Abbey 57
9. Barton 43
10. Converse 34
11. Erskine 30
12. Coker 17