A-Sun Volleyball Weekly Notebook: Preseason

Thursday, August 25, 2011

•North Florida’s Paige Pridgeon and Belmont’s Maggie Johnson both enter the season with a chance to crack the A-Sun top-10 for career kills. Johnson, the Preseason Player of the Year, has totaled 907 as she enters her senior season, while Pridgeon, a junior, needs 431 kills to catch up to Melissa Roy (Stetson, 1994-97) at 1171 for tenth place. .

• Four of the conference’s top kills per set producers from the 2010 season return to their teams in 2011. Pridgeon (2nd; 3.90), Johnson (5th; 3.31), Kennesaw State’s Alyssa Lang (6th; 3.16) and ETSU’s Megan Devine (7th; 2.95) all ranked in the A-Sun top-10 for kills per set in 2010. FGCU’s Jelena Simic, who missed the 2010 season, ranked second in kills per set in 2009 at 3.81. All five were named to the 2011 A-Sun Preseason All-Conference team..

• Lipscomb enters the season having won its last 35 regular season A-Sun contests after posting perfect conference records the past two seasons. The streak is the longest in the nation as the Lady Bisons have dropped only 13 sets during that span, while picking up 24 sweeps..

• Mercer’s Charlotte Harris and FGCU’s Holly Youngquist also earned spots on the Preseason All-Conference team and could etch their names into the A-Sun record books this season. The duo is approaching the top-10 for career digs and could enter the exclusive list by mid-season. Youngquist has accumulated 962 digs in her three-year career, while Harris holds 887 digs after racking up 638 last season, which led the A-Sun. Currently sitting in 10th place all-time is Jackie Viren (Mercer, 2002-05) with 1204..

• The Lady Bisons were picked to win their third-straight A-Sun Championship by the coaches in the preseason poll. The last team to win three-straight conference titles came in 2001-03 when UCF accomplished the feat..

• In its first season in A-Sun play (2006), Kennesaw State failed to win a league match and claimed only one victory overall, but since that season the Owls have increased their winning percentage and standing in the league each year including last season when the Owls finished second in the conference with a .900 conference winning percentage – both program records..

• In 2010, USC Upstate played only five home matches and posted a 2-3 record. However, none of the matches took place at its traditional home court, the Hodge Center, which was undergoing renovations. This season, the Spartans play 12 home contests at the Hodge Center including hosting the Spartan Classic on Sept. 16-17..

• Stetson’s volleyball program starts a new era this season as Tim Loesch takes over the Hatters after spending seven seasons as the head coach at Limestone College..

• Belmont is the only team to hold home contests in the opening weekend of play as the Bruins host the Belmont Invitational.