Jags Voted Third In Volleyball PBC Preseason Coaches Poll

Jags Voted Third In Volleyball PBC Preseason Coaches Poll

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – The Augusta University women's volleyball team was voted to finish third in the 2018 Peach Belt Conference preseason coaches poll, according to a vote of the league's head coaches on Wednesday.

 

Flagler College is the unanimous choice to claim the 2018 Peach Belt Conference volleyball championship according to the league's head coaches. The Saints received all six first-place votes available to them for a maximum 36 points, ahead of Georgia College in second place (28), Augusta in third (26) and USC Aiken in fourth (24). Lander, Francis Marion, and UNC Pembroke rounded out the voting.

 

Augusta finished fourth in the 2017 PBC standings, their highest mark since 2014, and advanced to the PBC Tournament semifinals for the first time since 2012. The Jaguars return one of the more experienced teams in the PBC in 2018 with four seniors on the roster including first-team All-Conference selection McKenzey Beck. Beck led NCAA Division II with 12 triple-doubles in 2017 and led the team in kills and aces and was second in assists. Also back is senior Blair Bolton on the right side, senior libero Natalia Gouvela, and senior outside hitter Savanna Gonzales.

 

Flagler was the 2016 regular-season co-champions and won the 2017 title outright and are seeking to become the first PBC team since 2014 to win three straight championships. Flagler is also the three-time defending PBC Tournament champion and in 2017 returned to the NCAA Elite Eight for the first time since 2011.  The 2018 Saints are younger, but have leadership in key roles.  Senior setter Tara Savisky returns after claiming her third straight All-Conference honor last year.  Also back is senior middle blocker Raquel Kulak.  Flagler lost seniors Sara Davis and Taja Valmyr, who accounted for more than half the team's kills.  The Saints will look to 2017 PBC Freshman of the Year Karlie Redfern to provide offense; she was third on the team in kills last year.

 

Georgia College is coming off their most successful season of volleyball yet.  The Bobcats reached the PBC Tournament championship game in 2017 and made their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to the regional semifinal round.  GC has their sights set on the PBC title in 2018 with the return of PBC Setter of the Year Kayla Brockway and first-team All-Conference middle blocker Taylor Svehla. Also returning is junior Emily Crowell who was fourth on the team in kills and sophomore Emma Boughner who led the team and was fifth in the PBC in total blocks.

 

USC Aiken made their fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance in 2017 after finishing among the top two in the PBC standings for the third year in a row.  The 2015 and 2016 PBC regular-season champions, the Pacers are poised for a run at the 2018 championship with experience at nearly every position.  Returning sophomore Alie Smith was an All-Conference selection as a freshman after leading the team in scoring.  Junior Rebecca Martinez was named the 2017 PBC Libero/Defensive Specialist of the Year and led the PBC in digs per set.  Junior middle blocker Christine Carroll was third on the team in kills and led in total blocks.

 

The 2018 volleyball preseason poll is below.  Teams were given six points for a first-place vote, five for second and so on.  Coaches were not permitted to rank their own teams.

 

Peach Belt Conference Volleyball 2018 Preseason Coaches Poll

 

Rank

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

Total

1.

Flagler

6

0

0

0

0

0

36

2.

Georgia College

0

5

0

1

0

0

28

3.

Augusta

0

1

3

1

0

0

26

4.

USC Aiken

0

1

4

1

0

0

24

5.

Lander

0

0

0

2

4

0

14

6.

Francis Marion

0

0

0

2

3

0

13

7.

UNC Pembroke

0

0

0

0

0

6

6

 

 

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