Midwestern State was picked to finish sixth in the race for the 2014 Lone Star Conference championship Tuesday when the league released its annual preseason poll, as picked by the league's coaches and sports information directors as well as select media members.
West Texas A&M is the favorite to claim its ninth consecutive league title as the Lady Buffs were the top pick on 21 of the 23 ballots while amassing 205 total points.
Angelo State garnered two first-place votes for 184 total points as the runner-up. The Rambelles are followed by Texas Woman's (149), Texas A&M-Commerce (129), Tarleton State (125), MSU (83), Texas A&M-Kingsville (69), Eastern New Mexico (51) and Cameron (40).
Texas A&M-Commerce's Amy Davault was tabbed the league's preseason offensive player of the year after putting down 3.43 kills per set with a .194 attack percentage.
Angelo State's Shelby Wilt (4.72 digs per set in 2013) and West Texas A&M's Kameryn Hayes (9.66 set assists per set) were named the LSC's preseason top defender and setter, respectively.
Midwestern State returns seven letter winners off of last season's 17-13 squad which finished sixth in the LSC with a 7-9 record during league play.
Sophomore middle blocker Sarah Garfield earned All-LSC honorable mention last season averaging 1.69 kills and 0.84 blocks per set to lead a trio of returning starters which also includes senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Molloy (1.64 kills and 2.40 digs per set) and sophomore setter Sarah Rosinke (6.13 set assists and 1.73 digs per set).
Senior defensive specialist Casey Fletcher returns to lead the back row after recording 3.98 digs per set and a .960 reception percentage in 2013.
The Mustangs also welcome back junior outside hitter Nicole Marzik (1.59 kills per set), sophomore defensive specialist Madelyn Johnson (3.34 digs per set) and sophomore right-side hitter Cody Moore (1.03 kills per set).
Midwestern State kicks off the 2014 season by hosting the MSU Hampton Inn-vitational on Sept. 5 and 6 at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. The Mustangs take on Colorado State-Pueblo and Fort Lewis (Colo.) at 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. on the 5th before taking on Southwestern Oklahoma and Arkansas Tech at 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the 6th.
2014 Lone Star Conference Preseason Poll
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Amy Davault, Texas A&M-Commerce
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Shelby Wilt, Angelo State
Preseason Setter of the Year
Kameryn Hayes, West Texas A&M