Courtesy: Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference
NORFOLK, Va. – Maryland Eastern Shore senior outside hitter Lucia Babic was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Volleyball Preseason Player of the Year, the conference announced today. Maryland Eastern Shore was predicted to claim the Northern Division, while Bethune-Cookman was chosen to win the Southern Division.
All awards were voted on by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors.
Maryland Eastern Shore, which went 12-0 to take the Northern Division last season, garnered 13 first-place votes and tallied 131 points to narrowly edge out Howard for the division’s top spot in the predicted order of finish. Babic, who was named Second Team All-MEAC last season, ranked seventh nationally in aces, 19th in aces per set and 117th in points.
She also ranked in the top three in the MEAC in all three categories, and she was second on the team in kills (368), kills per set (2.83), aces (57), and she ranked third on the team in digs (291) and blocks (66). Also named to the preseason All-MEAC team, Babic was a big reason why the Hawks led the nation in total aces and aces per set in 2017.
Howard, the three-time defending MEAC tournament champion, picked up 130 points and 10 first-place votes in being selected to finish second. Senior setter Tamia Dockery, who ranked second in the MEAC in assists last season with 9.95 per set (a conference-high 1,105 assists in total), was named to the preseason All-MEAC team.
Morgan State was predicted to finish third in the Northern Division, followed by Coppin State, Delaware State and Norfolk State to round out the division.
Bethune-Cookman racked up 14 first-place votes in being named the preseason favorite in the Southern Division. The Lady Wildcats went 9-1 in conference play last season, sharing the division’s regular-season title with Florida A&M and earning the division’s top seed in the MEAC Championship via tiebreaker.
Outside hitter Jordan Jefferson and middle blocker Faith Landrenaeux, who were both MEAC All-Rookie selections last season, were named Preseason All-MEAC.
Florida A&M nabbed six first-place votes en route to being picked to finish second in the Southern Division. Representing the Lady Rattlers, who advanced to the MEAC Championship title match last season, on the preseason All-MEAC team are senior libero Valentina Carrasco and junior outside hitter Maria Yvette Garcia.
North Carolina A&T State (four first-place votes) and North Carolina Central were chosen to finish third and fourth in the Southern Division, while Savannah State and South Carolina State were slated fifth and sixth, respectively.
The Aggies’ Edie Brewer, a sophomore setter/rightside, was also named to the preseason All-MEAC team.
The 2018 season begins on Friday, Aug. 24, with conference play kicking off on Friday, Sept. 28.
The 2018 MEAC Volleyball Championship will be held Friday-Sunday, Nov. 16-18, at Burr Gymnasium on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C.
2018 MEAC Volleyball Preseason Predicted Order of Finish
(First-place votes In parenthesis)
|Maryland Eastern Shore (13)||131|
|Florida A&M (6)||119|
|North Carolina A&T State (4)||103|
|North Carolina Central||72|
|South Carolina State||32|
2018 MEAC Volleyball Preseason Team
(as voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors)
Preseason Player of the Year: Lucia Babic, Maryland Eastern Shore
|Jordan Jefferson||OH||So.||Bethune-Cookman||San Antonio, Texas|
|Faith Landreneaux||MB||So.||Bethune-Cookman||Carthage, Texas|
|Valentina Carrasco||L||Sr.||Florida A&M||Lima, Peru|
|Maria Yvette Garcia||OH||Jr.||Florida A&M||Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic|
|Tamia Dockery||S||Sr.||Howard||Richmond, Texas|
|Lucia Babic||OH||Sr.||Maryland Eastern Shore||Sisak, Croatia|
|Edie Brewer||S/RS||So.||North Carolina A&T State||West Chester, Ohio|