GREENVILLE, S.C. – The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team was picked to finish eighth in the 2019 edition of the Conference Carolinas Coaches' Poll. Seniors Megan Gallion and Lexi Zangari along with junior Caitlyn Smirne were picked as players to watch for the Bobcats this fall.
Defending league champion Emmanuel College was selected to win the conference title once again collecting nine first-place votes and 119 points. Belmont Abbey was not far behind with 111 points and three first-place votes. Rounding out the top four was the duo Barton (97 points) and King (87 points).
The next three schools in the poll all hail from South Carolina in North Greenville (83 points), Limestone (78 points) and Southern Wesleyan (53 points). Lees-McRae, which collected 49 points, closed out the top eight in the preseason prognostication.
Closing out the preseason poll were the quartet of Erskine (42 points), Mount Olive (30 points), Chowan (22 points) and Converse (21 points).
Gallion made an immediate impact for the Bobcats in her first season with the team in 2018. The setter from California racked up 921 assists, which was the 10th-most by any player in the history of Bobcats women's volleyball. Additionally, Gallion also totaled 10 double-doubles and ranked fourth in the league in assists last season.
Entering her fourth season with the Bobcats, Zangari will look to build upon a solid junior season. In 2018, Zangari totaled 185 kills, 111 digs and 72 blocks. Her 72 blocks not only led the Bobcats but also ranked seventh in the league.
Finally, Smirne looks to build upon her sophomore season where she saw a sizeable increase across nearly every statistical category. Smirne paced the Bobcats in both points scored (302.0) and kills (259). The Winterville, North Carolina native also was second on Lees-McRae in both aces (31) and digs (308).
The Bobcats will begin their 2019 campaign on September 6-7 when they travel to Huntsville, Alabama for four non-conference matches.