Thomasville, NC- Mount Olive returns six starters from last year’s squad that went 24-13 overall, 15-3 in the CVAC, and earned their first-ever NCAA II Tournament berth, to take the top spot in this year’s CVAC Volleyball Pre-Season Poll as voted on by head coaches. Leading the way for the Trojans is two-time All-American senior outside hitter Heidi Busch, who ranked second in the nation with 701 kills and became the first player in conference history to win CVAC Volleyball Player of the Week honors four times in one season. Busch, the 2002 CVAC Freshman of the Year, has earned All-CVAC First Team honors in each of her first three years.
The Trojans also return senior middle blocker Colby Mangum and senior setter Sara Christie, both of whom are two-time All-CVAC selections. Mangum has ranked in the top 10 in blocks per game in each of the last two seasons. Junior middle hitter Anna Luft, the 2003 CVAC Freshman of the Year, earned All-CVAC First Team honors and All-Region Honorable Mention last season.
Sophomore hitter Sam Mitchell started every match as a freshman last year, ranking third on the team in kills and leading the team in digs. Junior libero Nikki Murphy moved into the starting lineup midway through last season and was among the team leaders in digs.
Lees-McRae enters the 2005 season with a realistic chance of obtaining their 8th straight CVAC championship. While Lees-McRae will certainly miss the setting skills of All-CVAC Player of the Year
All-CVAC 2nd Team member and outside hitter Lacie Smith, who led the team in numerous categories including kills per game, aces, and digs, will be a force on the outside. Joining Smith will be junior middle blocker Amanda Huffaker, senior outside hitter Bridget Thornton, and opposite junior Olivia Luce. Lees-McRae has added six outstanding players to their roster for this season. Transfer middle blocker Caty Honey and transfer setter Valentina Petrova should fill in the holes left by the graduating seniors, with freshmen Nicole Burns and Natalie Burns seeing some court time. Two other freshmen, Lori Congleton and Lindsey Pike, round out the 2005 recruiting class. Also new to the team will be the Bobcat coaching staff, Head Coach Jamie Petrik and Assistant Coach Megan Wargo. Petrik, a former assistant coach at
Rounding out the poll 4-10 was: Coker,
CVAC Volleyball Preseason Poll (# of
2. Lees-McRae (2) 81
3. Barton 69
4. Coker 59
7. Pfeiffer 43
8. Converse 40
9. Queens 37
11. Limestone 32