Volleyball's Gillespie Earns All-SAC Honors: Team Tabbed 10th in Preseason Coaches' PollAugust 26, 2013
ANDERSON, S.C. – Anderson University volleyball standout Shannon Gillespie has been named preseason Second-Team All-South Atlantic Conference, while the team has been predicted to finish 10th in the conference in a vote by the league’s coaches as released Monday morning by the conference office.
Gillespie, 5-foot-10 outside hitter, earned Second-Team All-SAC honors following last season after leading the team with 355 kills and ranking sixth in the league a year ago. The Fishers, Ind. native was also second on the squad with 418 digs and ranked ninth in the SAC. Gillespie recorded 16 double-double kill/dig matches as a sophomore last season and wrapped up the campaign needing just 119 kills to move into the top-10 in AU’s all-time record books.
She is also successful in the classroom, earning Capital One First–Team Academic All-District accolades last year and has been named to the SAC Commissioners’ Honor Roll
“We are excited to have Shannon recognized for the second straight year,” said Anderson head coach Craig Mosqueda. “Her hard work is paying off, both individually and for the team.”
Seven-time defending SAC champion Wingate was voted No. 1 in the poll, with the Bulldogs receiving the maximum number of possible first-place votes – 11 – under the poll’s voting structure.
Wingate is coming off a 2012 season in which it went 32-3 overall and 16-2 conference play. The Bulldogs – who also won their seventh-straight Food Lion SAC Volleyball Championship title last year - reached the national quarterfinal round of the NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship for the second time in three years.
Tusculum, which finished second in last year’s regular-season standings and was the runner-up at the SAC Volleyball Championship, was second in the preseason poll. The Pioneers received one first-place vote in the poll after finishing last year 24-8 overall and 14-4 in the league. TC also earned an at-large selection to the NCAA Tournament and reached the Southeast Regional Final before falling to Wingate.
A pair of 2012 NCAA Tournament selections – Lincoln Memorial and Newberry – were third and fourth in the preseason poll, respectively. LMU went 21-14 overall and 12-6 in the SAC last season, while Newberry finished 19-15 overall and 10-8 in the conference.
Lenoir-Rhyne – which also earned an NCAA Tournament bid in 2012 – is No. 5 in the poll, followed by Catawba at No. 6 and conference newcomer Queens at No. 7. L-R finished 19-12 overall and 11-7 in the SAC last season, Catawba went 12-15 overall and 9-9 in the league, and Queens had an overall record of 22-12 and shared the Conference Carolinas East Division title after going 14-2.
Anderson, which garnered 41 points in the coaches’ poll, was picked to finish ahead of Brevard and Coker, one of two newcomers in the league, while Carson-Newman was tabbed to finish in ninth with 45 points, just ahead of AU. The young 2012 Trojan squad finished eighth in the SAC a season ago, posting a 13-14 overall record.
“From our early practices and scrimmages we are performing above my expectations, so I hope that is an indication that we will do well in the conference,” added Mosqueda.
The Trojans open the season with a challenging six-match road swing, beginning at the FSC/Terrace Hotel Volleyball Classic in Lakeland, Fla. on Sept. 6-7.
AU tips off the Classic versus UW-Parkside, which received votes in the AVCA Division II Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll, then wraps up the first day of competition versus host Florida Southern. Northwood (Michigan), which also received votes in the poll, will be the next challenge for the Trojans and AU wraps up the event against defending NCAA D-II National Runner-up Tampa, which was ranked second in the preseason poll.
2013 SAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Wingate 121 (11)
2. Tusculum 109 (1)
3. LMU 98
4. Newberry 80
5. Lenoir-Rhyne 78
6. Catawba 69
7. Queens 66
8. Mars Hill 52
9. Carson-Newman 45
10. Anderson 41
11. Brevard 18
12. Coker 15
2013 Preseason All-SAC
Anna Hilton, WU
Samantha Parrish, NEW
Haley Rhyne, L-R
Caitlyn Dean, TC
Lexi Potter, WU
Kassie Voelker, TC
Susie Murach, WU
Ashley Sarmiento, TC
Shelly Stumpff, WU
Marissa Wixson, MHU
Shannon Gillespie, AU
Megan Hasse, TC
Kari Kemp, QU
Alison Cooke, WU
Maggie Murphy, MHU
Danae Stauffer, TC