BELTON – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor volleyball team has been picked to win the American Southwest Conference Championship in the league’s Preseason Poll. The Cru totaled 139 points and five first-place votes in balloting of the league’s coaches and sports information directors.
Texas-Dallas is the pick to finish second with 136 points and seven first-place votes, Hardin-Simmons is third with 134 points and four first-place votes and East Texas Baptist is fourth with 127 points and two first-place votes. Texas-Tyler was the choice at fifth with 109 points, Concordia Texas was sixth with 68 points and Howard Payne was seventh with 55 points. LeTourneau and Sul Ross State rounded out the poll with 43 and 20 points, respectively.
Lauren Powell and Kendra Feldmann represented the Cru on the Players to Watch list. Powell led the Cru with 369 kills and 1218 total attacks for a 2.73 kills per set average last season. Feldmann was the top-ranked ASC athlete in digs per set last season (5.19), totaling 680 in her sophomore campaign.
The Cru returns eight letterwinners from a team that earned a school-record 29 wins a year ago. UMHB finished the 2013 campaign at 29-7 with a 15-3 record in conference play. The Cru also earned its first bid to the NCAA Division III Championships under head coach Rob Frost. UMHB opens the season at the U.T.-Dallas Tournament August 29th-30th in Richardson. UMHB opens the home slate on Tuesday, September 16th in a 6 p.m. match against Hardin-Simmons at the Mayborn Campus Center.