Volleyball's Johnson Named A-Sun Preseason Player of the Year
MACON, Ga. - - Belmont senior Maggie Johnson has been selected as a member of the Atlantic Sun Preseason All-Conference team and the league's Preseason Player of the Year by conference coaches, the conference office announced Tuesday. Belmont was picked to finish third in the preseason poll and received one first place vote.
Johnson, a senior from Naperville, Ill., was a preseason pick last year and has earned postseason All-Conference honors the past two seasons. After a break-out season as a sophomore in 2009 in which Johnson turned in 1,217 attacks, the third highest total for single season, she was named to the Atlantic Sun First Team. Last season, Johnson again received postseason honors after being named to the A-Sun Second Team. She is also a three time All-Academic team selection. Johnson enters 2011 with 3,006 career attacks, placing her just outside of the career top five in attacks. This season, Johnson is expected to move up that list, as well as continuing her climb up the career kills chart. She is currently ranked sixth on the career kill list with 1,045 career kills.
"When considering all the talented players in the Atlantic Sun, it is quite an honor for Maggie to be chosen as pre-season player of the year," Head Coach Deane Webb said. "I look forward to watching Maggie strive to achieve great things throughout this season, and for her team to reap the rewards of her effort and performance on the court."
Lipscomb was picked to finish at the top of the conference for the third consecutive season. The Bisons were the 2009 and 2010 regular season and tournament champions. Lipscomb was also predicted to be the 2011 tournament champions. Kennesaw State, which finished second in the conference a season ago, was voted second in the preseason poll. Only two points separated the Bruins, picked third, and Kennesaw State. Rounding out the top five picks in the conference were Florida Gulf Coast and East Tennessee State.
Florida Gulf Coast was the only conference school to have two players selected to the Preseason All-Conference Team. The coaches' picks were dominated by seniors, with five other seniors joining Johnson on the team. The complete Preseason Team and Preseason Poll is listed below.
Belmont opens the 2011 season with the Belmont Invitational held August 26-27th in the Curb Event Center. The Bruins will host regional power Western Kentucky, Murray State from the Ohio Valley Conference, and Sacramento State. Belmont's first match of the season will be Friday, Aug. 26, at 6:30 p.m. against Murray State. The 2011 Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament will return to Nashville for the first time since 2008, when Belmont hosted. This year's tournament will be hosted by Lipscomb and run from Nov. 18-20th.
Preseason All-Atlantic Sun Team
Pos. Name School Class Hometown Major
*OH Paige Pridgeon North Florida Junior Tallahassee, Fla. Education
OH Maggie Johnson Belmont Senior Naperville, Ill. Exercise Science
OH Megan Devine ETSU Soph. Kingsport, Tenn. Exercise Science
OH Jelena Simic FGCU Senior Lazarevac, Serbia Business Mgmt
MB Katie Rose Lipscomb Senior Lexington, Ky. Education
OH Alyssa Lang Kennesaw State Senior Richmond, Va. Human Services
L Holly Youngquist FGCU Senior Estero, Fla. Res.& Hosp. Mngmt
L Charlotte Harris Mercer Senior Chapel Hill, N.C. Psychology
* Unanimous Choice
** A tie in the voting resulted in an eight-person all-conference team
Preseason Volleyball Coaches Poll
Pl. Team (1st Place Votes) Points
1. Lipscomb (3) 85
2. Kennesaw State (2) 79
3. Belmont (1) 77
4. FGCU (1) 72
5. ETSU (1) 68
6. Jacksonville 49
7. Mercer 45
8. North Florida 44
9. Stetson 17
10. USC Upstate 14