UNCG tabbed to win North Division, three named Preseason All-SoCon
GREENSBORO, NC – UNC Greensboro was picked to win the North Division in the Southern Conference Preseason Poll and three Spartans were named to the Pre-season All-Conference Team, it was announced Monday, Aug. 25 by the conference office.
UNCG received 10 first-place votes and 65 points in the poll. Appalachian State was selected to finish second in the North Division, garnering 53 points and one first-place vote. Elon ranked third with 41 points and one-first place finish, while SoCon newcomer Samford was selected fourth with 39 points. Chattanooga was picked fifth with 32 points, while Western Carolina rounded out the North Division with 16 points.
Defending SoCon Champion College of Charleston was picked to win the South Division, receiving 66 points and 11 first-place votes. Furman was second in the poll for the South Division and collected 55 points and one first-place vote. Davidson was tabbed third with 44 points and Georgia Southern was selected fourth with 37 points. Rounding out the South Division were Wofford (fifth, 25 points) and The Citadel (sixth, 19 points).
Senior Kaitlyn Nortz and juniors Branagan Fuller and Catherine Hanners were among the 12 players selected to the Preseason All-Conference Team. Nortz finished the 2007 season with 165 total blocks and 448 kills. She enters the 2008 campaign ranking second among UNCG's career blocking leaders (435 total blocks) and fourth all-time in kills (1,159). Nortz received second-team All-Conference honors and was also selected to the SoCon's All-Tournament Team and to the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association (NCCSIA) All-State team.
Fuller broke UNCG's single-season kills record last season, tallying 543. She averaged a team-best 4.05 kills per game, which ranked fourth among the SoCon's leaders. Fuller was also named to the SoCon's All-Tournament Team and received NCCSIA All-State honors.
Hanners broke her own single-season record for digs last season, recording 684. Meanwhile, her 5.14 dig per game averaged ranked third in the SoCon in 2007. Hanners currently has 1,337 career digs and is fifth among UNCG's career leaders.
UNCG is set to open the 2008 season at the Radisson Suites Buena Park Volleyball Classic hosted by Cal State Fullerton. The Spartans start the tournament against Pepperdine Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. ET. The Spartans conclude the tournament Aug. 30 with a 4 p.m. ET match against host Cal State Fullerton and a 7:30 p.m. ET match versus Delaware.
Southern Conference Preseason Poll
School (#1 Votes) Total Points
1. UNC Greensboro (10) 65
2. Appalachian State (1) 53
3. Elon (1) 41
4. Samford 39
5. Chattanooga 32
6. Western Carolina 16
1. College of Charleston (11) 66
2. Furman (1) 55
3. Davidson 44
4. Georgia Southern 37
5. Wofford 25
6. The Citadel 19
Preseason All-Southern Conference
Name School Position
Nicole Palazzo Furman MB
Kaitlyn Nortz UNC Greensboro MB
Lara Newberry Chattanooga L
Branagan Fuller UNC Greensboro OH
Emily Sawin College of Charleston OH/RSH
Carla Durham Appalachian State MB
Alison West Furman OH
Cole Dawley College of Charleston S
Ashley Adams Samford OH
Kittery Neale Davidson MB
Catherine Hanners UNC Greensboro L
Sarah Schermerhorn Elon MB