Tarleton Volleyball tabbed No. 5 in preseason conference polls

Marissa Banda, Kelsey Raglin and Meg Umbel are three of Tarleton's 11 returning players for the 2014 season. (Photo courtesy of Tarleton Sports)
Marissa Banda, Kelsey Raglin and Meg Umbel are three of Tarleton’s 11 returning players for the 2014 season. (Photo courtesy of Tarleton Sports)
STEPHENVILLE – The annual Lone Star Conference preseason volleyball polls were released Tuesday morning and the Tarleton TexAnns checked in at No. 5 in the rankings.

“Obviously we would have liked to be ranked higher, but this is a very tough volleyball conference,” said Tarleton head coach Mary Schindler. “We lost four all-conference players and have some big roles to fill, but we are looking forward to the coming together as a team, working hard and competing every night.”

West Texas A&M is the preseason favorites in the conference with 205 total votes and 21 first-place nods while Angelo State checked in at No. 2 with 184 and two first-place votes.

Texas Woman’s (149) and Texas A&M-Commerce (129) checked in at No. 3 and 4, respectively, ahead of Tarleton. Commerce’s 129 votes were only four ahead of the 125 received by the TexAnns to separate fourth and fifth place in the rankings.

Checking in behind Tarleton is Midwestern State (83), Texas A&M-Kingsville (69), Eastern New Mexico (51) and Cameron (40).

The preseason Players of the Year were also announced by the Lone Star Conference Tuesday. Texas A&M-Commerce’s Amy Davault was named the Offensive Player of the Year while Angelo State’s Shelby Wilt took the defensive honors. West Texas A&M’s Kameryn Hayes earned the preseason Setter of the Year award.

Tarleton State is returning 11 letterwinners from last year’s team, including honorable mention all-conference selection Katie Covell as well as starters Kaitlyn White, Kelsey Raglin and Meg Umbel. The TexAnn recruiting class is also expected to contribute right away, according to Schindler.

The TexAnns will open the season Sept. 5 against Arkansas-Fort Smith in San Angelo at the Angelo State Tournament.

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