Volleyball Tabbed To Repeat As West Champs

Week 1 Game Notes

DENTON, Texas – The North Texas volleyball team was picked to repeat as Sun Belt West Division champions on the annual preseason poll released by the league on Wednesday.

The Mean Green, coming off the program’s first 20-win campaign and West Division title since 2006, garnered a division-high 65 points and seven first-place votes.

“I’m excited to know that we earned the attention of the Sun Belt after being picked as the underdog last year,” said second-year head coach Ken Murczek. “But, this is a new year altogether, and our goal is once again to win the West and get a great seed for the Sun Belt Tournament.”

NT posted the nation’s 24th biggest turnaround in 2010 in vaulting from 12 wins the previous year to 20. North Texas, which led the Sun Belt in attendance, returns the league’s leading setter in Kayla Saey (SBC high 11.31 assists per set) and libero Sarah Willey, who became just the second player in NT history to ever record a 500-dig season.

North Texas opens the 2011 season this weekend against Lamar, Houston Baptist and Texas Southern in Beaumont, Texas. Cross-town rival UT Arlington opens the home slate on Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. at the Mean Green Volleyball Center.

Preseason Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Poll

1.  Middle Tennessee - 66 points (6 first place votes)
1.  Western Kentucky - 66 points (6 first place votes)
3.  FIU - 48 points
4.  South Alabama- 28 points
5.  Florida Atlantic- 26 points
6.  Troy- 18 points

1.  North Texas - 65 points (7 first place votes)
2.  Arkansas State - 60 points (4 first place votes)
3.  Denver - 52 points (1 first place vote)
4.  Louisiana-Lafayette - 34 points
5.  UALR - 29 points
6.  Louisiana-Monroe- 12 points

2011 Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Team
Cayla Fielder, Arkansas State
Jovana Bjelica, FIU
Andrea Lakovic, FIU
Ashley Adams, Middle Tennessee
Maria Szivos, Middle Tennessee
Tiffany Elmore, WKU
Jordyn Skinner, WKU
Melanie Stutsman, WKU

Preseason Player of the Year: Maria Szivos, Middle Tennessee
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Megan Baska, Arkansas State




North Texas Mean Green