The Lees-McRae College women's volleyball team is picked to finish fifth in the
race for the 2013 Conference Carolinas regular season championship, announced league officials Wednesday.
Belmont Abbey College is tabbed first in the preseason poll with seven first-place votes and 79 points, followed by King University with three first-place votes and 68 points. Erskine College is third with 65 points, followed by North Greenville University (52), and Lees-McRae (48). Mount Olive College (47) is sixth, followed by Limestone College (29), Barton College (26), Pfeiffer University (24), and Converse College (12).
Lees-McRae enters a new era under first-year head coach Dave Schmidlin, who brings over 10 years of coaching and talent development experience at both the collegiate and national levels. In addition to serving as the head women's volleyball coach at Oakland University and the University of Satin Francis, Schmidlin has spent more than 15 years as a talent evaluator for the USA Volleyball High Performance program.
"We are definitely looking forward to the challenge ahead of us," said Schmidlin. "As long as we are healthy, stay focused and maintain a positive outlook, we will be in a good position come conference tournament time."
The Bobcats return six letter-winners from last year's squad in its quest for the program's 14th conference championship in the last 17 years. Led by seniors Lauren Fox (Garland, Texas), Molly Corhn (Hendersonville, N.C.), and Haydn Beatty (Norman, Okla.), the Bobcats will look to capitalize on a nearly ideal mix of youth and experience in their quest to return to the top of the conference and the NCAA Tournament.
Lees-McRae opens the 2013 campaign on Friday, September 6 when the Bobcats travel to Florence, S.C. to take on Newberry College and Francis Marion University in the FMU Tournament. The Bobcats will square off with Newberry at 12 p.m., followed by host Francis Marion at 8 p.m.
2013 Conference Carolinas Preseason Poll
Rk. School (1st-place votes) Points
1.Belmont Abbey (7) 79
2.King (3) 68
4.North Greenville 52
6.Mount Olive 47