Saturday, July 16, 2016

MEAC Announces 2016 Volleyball Preseason

NORFOLK, Virginia – Howard junior outside hitter Khaila Donaldson was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Volleyball Preseason Player of the Year, the conference announced today. Howard was predicted to claim the Northern Division, while Bethune-Cookman was chosen to win the Southern Division.

All awards are voted on by the conference’s head volleyball coaches and sports information directors.

Defending MEAC tournament champion Howard garnered 19 first-place votes to receive the top spot. The Bison recorded an 18-14 overall record last season, including an 11-1 MEAC mark, under the direction of head coach Shaun Kupferberg. Donaldson, the tournament’s most outstanding player last season, led the team in points (468.0) and kills (405). Libero Morgan Marlbrough returns for her senior year and joins Donaldson on last year’s All-MEAC First Team. Marlbrough finished second for the Bison in digs (181).

Bethune-Cookman received 16 first-place votes after posting an undefeated 10-0 record in the Southern Division and a 15-16 overall mark last season. Starting middle blockers Rakaya Neely and Phylecia Armstrong will return for another season with the Lady Wildcats. Neely earned a spot on the 2015 All-MEAC First Team, while Armstrong received All-MEAC Third Team honors.

Maryland Eastern Shore was picked to finish second in the Northern Division. The Hawks return five starters, including 2015 MEAC Rookie of the Year Zuzana Ondruskova. She led the team in points (403.5) and kills per set (3.38) last season.

Morgan State was predicted to finish third in the Northern Division, followed by Coppin State, Hampton, Norfolk State and Delaware State to round out the division

Florida A&M returns five starters from last season to earn the second-place preseason ranking in the Southern Division. The Lady Rattlers are led by senior middle blocker Dei’Ja Martin. Martin, an All-MEAC First Team selection, led the conference in hitting percentage (.472) last season.

North Carolina A&T State and North Carolina Central were chosen to finish third and fourth in the Southern Division, while South Carolina State and Savannah State were slated fifth and sixth.

The 2016 season begins August 26, with conference play starting Friday, September 23.

The 2016 MEAC Volleyball Championship will be held November 18-20 at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Md.

2016 MEAC Volleyball Preseason Predicted Order of Finish
(First-Place Votes In Parenthesis)

1.       Howard (19)163
2.       Maryland Eastern Shore (5)142
3.       Morgan State109
4.       Coppin State87
5.       Hampton72
6.       Norfolk State54
7.       Delaware State45
1.       Bethune-Cookman (16)134
2.       Florida A&M (8)124
3.       North Carolina A&T State89
4.       North Carolina Central83
5.       South Carolina State48
6.       Savannah State26
2016 MEAC Volleyball Preseason Team
Preseason Player of the Year: Khaila Donaldson 

Rakaya NeelyMBJr.Bethune-CookmanLake Wales, Fla.
Phylecia ArmstrongMBr-Sr.Bethune-CookmanTacariqua, Trinidad & Tobago
Dei’ja MartinMBSr.Florida A&MGlenns Ferry, Idaho
Reeana RichardsonOHSo.HamptonEllicott City, Md.
Khaila DonaldsonOHJr.HowardVernon Hills, Ill.
Morgan MarlbroughLSr.HowardMandeville, La.
Zuzana OndruskovaOHSo.Maryland Eastern ShoreBilovec, Czech Republic


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