Photo by Gerald Castillo
Texas State selected first in Sun Belt preseason poll
Texas State was selected first overall in the 2018 Sun Belt preseason coaches’ poll, the conference announced Monday.
The Bobcats picked up the most points overall with 70. They were also selected to finish first in the Sun Belt west division. The conference enters its third season with the divisional format, and this marks the first time Texas State was picked first in its division.
In the west, Arkansas State was selected second behind the Bobcats with 58 points and one first-place vote. Louisiana was selected in third with 51 points and one first-place vote. UT-Arlington was picked in fourth followed by Little Rock and Louisiana Monroe.
Two-time defending Sun Belt champion Coastal Carolina was picked to win the east division with 67 points and eight first-place votes. South Alabama was projected to finish in second with 63 points and four first-place votes. Appalachian State was selected in third place followed by Georgia State and Georgia Southern was picked in last.
The Sun Belt also announced its preseason All-Sun Belt team on Monday. Texas State junior libero Micah Dinwiddie was named the Sun Belt Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. Seniors Madison Daigle, Megan Porter and Amy Pflughaupt were named to the All-Sun Belt team alongside Dinwiddie.
The four Sun Belt selections were the most by Texas State since joining the conference in 2013. Dinwiddie is the first Bobcat to receive the preseason Defensive Player of the Year accolade.
Texas State enters the season after putting together a strong 2017 campaign, where it went 25-10, won the west division and played in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship and picked up its first postseason win in program history.
The Bobcats kickoff the season at the Baylor Invitation, where they’ll play Marquette on Aug. 24 and Baylor and LSU on Aug. 25. Texas State returns home to host its annual Creeds & Crests Classic on Aug. 30-Sept. 1, where it’ll take on UTSA, James Madison, Incarnate Word and Abilene Christian.
2018 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Poll: (First-place votes in parentheses)
1. Coastal Carolina (8)
2. South Alabama (4)
3. Appalachian State
5. Georgia State
6. Georgia Southern
1. Texas State (10)
2. Arkansas State (1)
3. Louisiana (1)
5. Little Rock
2018 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason All-Conference Team
*Carlisa May, Arkansas State (Sr., OH, Lee's Summit, Mo.)
**Ellie Watkins, Arkansas State (Sr., S, Weldon Spring, Mo.)
Kyla Manning, Coastal Carolina (So., OH, Atlanta, Ga.)
*Lauren Reichard, Georgia Southern (Sr., MH, Wrightsville, Pa.)
*Dree'Ana Abram, Louisiana (Jr., MB, Marshall, Texas)
*Hali Wisnoskie, Louisiana (So., OH, Columbus, Texas)
*Kelley Hartman, South Alabama (Jr., MB, Woodstock, Ga.)
**Zhanelle Geathers, UTA (Jr., OH, Lindale, Texas)
*Madison Daigle, Texas State (Sr., MB, Baton Rouge, La.)
*Micah Dinwiddie, Texas State (Jr., DS, Lewisville, Texas)
*Amy Pflughaupt, Texas State (Sr., OH, El Campo, Texas)
**Megan Porter, Texas State (Sr., OH, Southlake, Texas)
*Denotes 2017 All-Sun Belt First Team | **Denotes 2017 All-Sun Belt Second Team
2018 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Carlisa May, Arkansas State (Sr., OH, Lee's Summit, Mo.)
2018 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Micah Dinwiddie, Texas State (Jr., DS. Lewisville, Texas)
2018 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Setter of the Year
Ellie Watkins, Arkansas State (Sr., S, Weldon Spring, Mo.)