As the Southland conference polls keep rolling out, UCA volleyball has been on the winning side of the conference honors and continues to be as it is picked fourth in SLC Preseason Coaches Poll.

A year removed from a fifth-place finish in the SLC, the Sugar Bears know they have a more veteran core, and the conference believes it too as they are projected to finish higher than a year before.

Heading into the 2019 campaign, UCA was noted as a relatively young core and was beaming with talent.

The Sugar Bears used that title to claim fifth place in the Southland after a five game-winning stretch pushed them to 10-6 in SLC play.

As that squad has matured and is starting a new tenure under first-year head coach John Newberry, the scene seems different.

The Sugar Bears got to showcase themselves in that way with a few tough matchups in the fall season.

UCA finished their fall stint 2-3 as they faced two teams placed just outside of the top 25.

Picked ahead of the Sugar Bears is the top three finishers in the Southland conference from a year before.

Stephen F. Austin claimed first place with the most votes at 276 and 16 first-place votes.

Sam Houston grabbed second with 266 and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi finished out the top three with 238 votes.

UCA hopes to claim this ranking and showcase its potential as it starts up the spring volleyball season on Feb. 2.

The Sugar Bears start the season as they travel to Sam Houston to take on the second-place finalist in the preseason polls.

CBC Softball

The initial rankings for the 2021 NAIA softball season were released Wednesday by the NAIA.

Central Baptist College earned a preseason ranking of No. 16, its first time ranked in the preseason poll since starting No. 6 going into the 2013 season.

CBC returns seven starters from a team that was 15-2 when the COVID-19 pandemic halted play on March 12 last year.

The 15-2 start last year was the best 17-game start since the 2013 season and the Mustangs did not get the opportunity to play any American Midwest Conference contests.

The season for softball begins in February at the LSU-A tournament.

The schedule for softball and the season preview will be released in the coming days.

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