Lees-McRae picked to repeat as Conference Carolinas champions

HIGH POINT, N.C. --- The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team is picked to repeat as Conference Carolinas champions after capturing both the regular season and tournament titles last season, announced league officials Monday with the release of the 2012 Conference Carolinas Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll.

Lees-McRae tops the poll with 113 points and six first-place votes, edging Queens University of Charlotte's total of 112 points and six first-place votes. Erskine College is third with 96 votes, followed by King College (92) and Limestone College (76). Belmont Abbey College is sixth with 67 points, followed by Mount Olive College (58), Pfeiffer University (48), Coker College (47), North Greenville University (41), Barton College (28), and Converse College (14).

The Bobcats enter a new era this season under James Goodridge, who has served as the head coach of Lees-McRae men's volleyball team for the past two years. Lees-McRae is primed to continue the program's recent success over the last 14 years, carrying a 58-match winning streak (combined regular season and tournament) in Conference Carolinas play into the season, which ranks second among active streaks at the NCAA Division II level.

"The Lees-McRae women's volleyball program is very honored to be named as the top team in the preseason polls," expressed Goodridge. "However, we understand that it is not how you start, but how you finish. With this mindset, we will work hard to defend this preseason ranking and earn the top spot in the end of the season polls. This is not an easy task as the conference has gotten stronger each year that I have been here. With our own coaching change, we can expect an uphill battle. But, the team and the coaching staff are prepared for it, and we all look forward to the challenge."

With a veteran corps led by seniors Megan Mitchell (Minden, Nev.), Taylor Clendenin (Statesville, N.C.) and Dana Oliver (Davie, Fla.), as well as a strong recruiting class, the Bobcats are well-positioned in their quest for the program's conference-record 14th league title and a deep run into the NCAA Tournament.

Lees-McRae opens the season on Friday, August 31 when the Bobcats travel to Wingate, N.C. to take on No. 21 Wingate University at 7 p.m.

- LMC -

2012 Conference Carolinas Women's Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll

Rk. School (1st Place Votes) Points
1 Lees-McRae College (6) 113
2 Queens University of Charlotte (6) 112
3 Erskine College 96
4 King College 92
5 Limestone College 76
6 Belmont Abbey College 67
7 Mount Olive College 58
8 Pfeiffer University 48
9 Coker College 47
10 North Greenville University 41
11 Barton College 28
12 Converse College 14