Aug. 18, 2014
ARLINGTON, Texas – UT Arlington was picked to finish fourth in the 2014 Sun Belt Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league office released today.
"That's about where I thought I'd see us picked," UT Arlington coach Diane Seymour said. "UALR didn't lose any starters so expected them to be picked high. I'm pleased. We lost three good players that did outstanding things for us, and being picked fourth is a good spot for us and we're headed for first.
Last season the Mavericks we're picked sixth, but exceeded expectations as they finished fourth and went on to the SBC Conference championship match
The volleyball coaches of the Sun Belt Conference selected UALR to finish first. In addition to being selected as the preseason favorite, the Trojans' Edina Begic was voted as the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year.
The Trojans garnered four of the eleven first place votes while earning 110 points which was 11 points clear of second place Texas State. After winning the conference tournament in 2013, Texas State finished with 99 points and three first place votes. Sun Belt newcomer Georgia Southern was predicted for a third place finish with two first place votes and 95 points. UT Arlington took fourth with 83 points.
South Alabama and UL Lafayette finished in fifth and sixth respectively while collecting one first place vote each. Appalachian State was tabbed for seventh place followed by Arkansas State, Troy, and Georgia State. UL Monroe rounded out the poll.
Begic, a senior outside hitter is the two time defending Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year and won Sun Belt Player of the Week seven times during the 2013 Sun Belt season. Begic has led the conference in kills each of the past two seasons and finished third in the nation with 5.11 kills per set and 5.83 points per set last year.
UL Monroe senior Marcela Araya was picked by the conference coaches as the Sun Belt Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. The Costa Rica native posted a school-record 549 digs in 2013, including a single-match ULM and Sun Belt record 46 digs in a victory over Troy on November 2nd. Araya played in all of the Warhawks' 117 sets and averaged the most digs per set (4.69) out of returning Sun Belt players. She tallied double-digit digs in all but five matches and was named the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week three times.
Caylin Mahoney was tabbed as the Sun Belt Preseason Setter of the Year. Mahoney is coming off a season which saw her earn the Sun Belt Conference Championship Tournament Most Outstanding Player. The senior from Texas State was third in the Sun Belt in assists and compiled more than 50 assists twice and more than 40 assists in nine matches.
Mechell Daniel (South Alabama), Sonja Milanovic (UALR), Jamie DeRatt (Georgia Southern), Andrea Hole (UL Lafayette), Kym Coley (Georgia Southern), and Marija Zelenovic (Troy) were named to the Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Team along with Begic and Mahoney.
Team (First Place Votes) - Points
UALR (4) - 110
Texas State (3) - 99
Georgia Southern (2) - 95
UT Arlington - 83
South Alabama (1) - 76
UL Lafayette (1) - 63
Appalachian State - 62
Arkansas State - 58
Troy - 41
Georgia State - 28
UL Monroe - 11
Sun Belt Preseason All-Conference Team
Edina Begic, UALR
Mechell Daniel, South Alabama
Sonja Milanovic, UALR
Jamie DeRatt, Georgia Southern
Caylin Mahoney, Texas State
Andrea Hole, UL Lafayette
Kym Coley, Georgia Southern
Marija Zelenovic, Troy
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Edina Begic, UALR
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Marcela Araya, UL Monroe
Preseason Setter of the Year
Caylin Mahoney, Texas State
Season and individual tickets for the 2014 UT Arlington volleyball season are now on sale at utatickets.com and by calling the College Park Center box office at 817-272-9595.
Season tickets are $40 for all 17 home matches at College Park Center. Single game tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for UTA students. UT Arlington students also have the option to buy the Mavericks All-Sports Pass for $25 payable on MyMav. This pass allows entry to all home athletic events during the 2014-15 academic year, which includes men's and women's basketball, baseball and softball.
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