Lady Bisons Picked for Volleyball Three-Peat

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

MACON, Ga. – For the third-straight season, Lipscomb’s volleyball team enters the season as the favorite to claim the Atlantic Sun Conference Regular Season Title after receiving three first-place votes from the league coaches. With 35-straight conference wins, the Lady Bisons own the longest streak in the nation and claimed the past two regular-season and championship titles.

Belmont’s Maggie Johnson, a two-time all-conference selection, earned the Preseason Player of the Year nod, while FGCU’s Holly Youngquist, a 2010 second team honoree, picked up the Preseason Libero of the Year honor. A senior outside hitter, Johnson finished last season ranked fifth in the league for kills per set (3.31) and points per set (3.66), while Youngquist averaged 4.18 digs per set for the Eagles, good for fourth in the A-Sun.

Kennesaw State, the 2010 Regular Season Runner-up, followed Lipscomb in the coaches poll with two first-place votes. Belmont and FGCU trailed the Owls in the poll as the Bruins picked up one first-place vote and the Eagles garnered two. The 2010 A-Sun Championship runner-up, ETSU finished out the top-five with one top vote.

The Owls’ senior outside hitter, Alyssa Lang jumped onto the preseason team after she received second-team honors in 2010. The Richmond, Va. native finished the year with 300 kills and ranked sixth in kills and points per set. Despite missing all of the 2010 season, FGCU’s Jelena Simic landed on the preseason all-conference team for the second-straight season. In 2009, Simic ranked second in the conference for kills per set and third in points per set.

Last season as a freshman, ETSU’s Megan Devine totaled 360 kills and 53 blocks to help the Lady Bucs to a 7-3 conference record and 26 wins overall, which led the conference. Lipscomb’s Katie Rose grabbed a spot on the preseason team after she finished her junior season ranked seventh in the conference in hitting percentage (.290) as an outside hitter.

North Florida’s Paige Pridgeon was the lone student-athlete to appear on all of the coaches ballots for the all-conference team. She completed her sophomore season ranked second in the conference for kills per set (3.9) – 47th in the nation – and third in points (4.34). Mercer’s Charlotte Harris, the 2010 Libero of the Year, finished last season with 638 digs and averaged 5.45 per set, which ranked 16th in the nation and best in the A-Sun.

Jacksonville, Mercer and North Florida followed the top-five of the coaches poll, while Stetson and USC Upstate rounded out the end of the poll.

Lipscomb plays host to the 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Volleyball Championship for the first time in program history. The three-day tournament lasts from Thursday, November 17th to Saturday, November 19th in Allen Arena.

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The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: Belmont University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.

2011 Volleyball Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team
Pos. Name (Class) School
OH * Paige Pridgeon (Jr.)
North Florida
OH Maggie Johnson (Sr.) Belmont
OH Megan Devine (So.) ETSU
OH
Jelena Simic (Sr.) FGCU
MB Katie Rose (Sr.)
Lipscomb
OH Alyssa Lang (Sr.)
Kennesaw State
L Holly Youngquist (Sr.)
FGCU
L Charlotte Harris (Sr.)
Mercer
* - Unanimous Selection
Preseason Player of the Year: Maggie Johnson, Sr., OH, Belmont
Preseason Libero of the Year: Holly Youngquist, Sr., FGCU

2011 Atlantic Sun Volleyball Preseason Poll
Rank School (First Place Votes)
Votes
1. Lipsomb (3)
85
2. Kennesaw State (2)
79
3. Belmont (1)
77
4.
FGCU (2)
72
5. ETSU 68
6.
Jacksonville
49
7. Mercer 45
8. North Florida (1)
44
9. Stetson
17
10. USC Upstate
14
Tournament Champion: Lipscomb (4 votes)