Volleyball Picked to Finish Second in First OVC Season
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - - In its inaugural season in the Ohio Valley Conference, the Belmont volleyball squad was picked to finish the season second by the head coaches and sports information directors in the preseason poll Wednesday.
Morehead State, who received 22 first-place votes and 242 total points, was selected to finish first in the league. The Eagles took the regular season title and the OVC Tournament crown last year. Southeast Missouri (192) received two first-place votes and was picked to finish third, with UT Martin (167) and Tennessee State (130) rounding out the top five.
Belmont, who joined the OVC in July, took a share of the regular season title in the Atlantic Sun last year. The squad returns nine letter winners, including junior Jen Myer (New Braunfels, Texas) who led the nation in service aces per set (0.79) last season.
"Honestly I'm quite surprised and humbled by our ranking in the preseason poll," said head coach Deane Webb. "We're in a new conference with many good teams and haven't earned anything yet. I don't feel that we've earned that rating, but we'll work hard and do our best to live up to it."
In their final year in the A-Sun, the Bruins went 21-9 and 11-2 in league play. The squad also recorded an unblemished 3-0 record against OVC opponents.
Belmont opens the 2012 season with Alabama A&M on Friday, August 24 at 6:00 p.m. The match is part of the Belmont Invitational, which features Alabama A&M, Northern Colorado and TCU.
The Bruins begin OVC play with Morehead State on the road, September 21. This will be the first meeting between the two teams.
2012 OVC Predicted Order of Finish
1. Morehead State (22 first-place votes) 242
2. Belmont 198
3. Southeast Missouri (two first-place votes) 192
4. UT Martin 167
5. Tennessee State 130
6. Eastern Kentucky 117
7. SIUE 109
8. Murray State 105
T9. Austin Peay 100
T9. Eastern Illinois 100
11. Jacksonville State 83
12. Tennessee Tech 41