The University of Central Arkansas is picked to win the East Division in Southland Conference volleyball and received the second-most votes in the poll of league coaches.
Both the league’s coaches and sports information directors pick Texas State as the West Division and overall favorite.
The Bears, 12-4 last season, return four starters including Chloe Smith, the 2008 Player of the Year; Jessica Hays, the Freshman of the Year; and Robyn Smith, the Setter of the Year.
The Bears placed four players on the preseason all-conference team, including two on the first team. Chloe Smith, a junior middle blocker from San Diego, is on the first team along with Robyn Smith, a senior setter from Lubbock, Texas.
Hays, a sophomore outside hitter from Friendswood, Texas, made the second team.
In the coaches poll, UCA received four first-place votes and accumulated 118 points to win the East, followed by SFA, 97; McNeese State, 75; Northwestern State, 47; Nicholls State, 38 and Southeastern Louisiana, 35. In the SID poll, UCA received three first-place votes and 112 points, followed by SFA, 110; McNeese, 73; Northwestern State, 54; SE Louisiana, 41; and Nicholls, 40.
In the West, Texas State received six first-place votes and 129 points in the coaches poll, followed by Lamar, 112; UTSA, 106; Sam Houston, 75; UTA, 62 and A&M-Corpus Christi, 30.
In the SID poll for the West, it was Texas State, 122; Lamar, 114; UTSA, 100; Sam Houston, 78; UTA, 60; A&M-Corpus Christi, 30.