FRISCO, Texas – 3 ACU Wildcats are on the 2018 Southland Conference Preseason All-Conference Teams, the league announced Thursday, but Stephen F. Austin paces the way with four spots .
The Lady Jacks head into the new campaign returning three all-conference members from a season ago in senior outside hitter Haley Coleman, junior middle blocker Danae Daron and senior middle blocker Makenzee Hanna. Junior setter Ann Hollas was voted onto the second team. Last season SFA won its first Southland regular-season championship since 2014, posting a 14-2 mark in conference play.
After its Cinderella run as the No. 8 seed last year participating in its first ever Southland postseason tournament, Abilene Christian heads into the season with three preseason second team members. Senior setter Kendall Bosse and senior outside hitter Jacey Smith, both 2017 All-Tournament selections, were both picked to the second team, along with senior middle blocker Lauren Walker.
Defending tournament champion Central Arkansas captured two spots on the top team, as does Northwestern State and Sam Houston State. The Sugar Bears return the league’s 2017 Player of the Year, senior right side hitter Samantha Anderson, along with 2017 Tournament MVP junior setter Elizabeth Armstrong. The Lady Demons earned automatic selections in senior outside hitter Reagan Rogers and last season’s conference Libero of the Year Channing Burleson. Senior middle blocker Taylor Cunningham snagged an automatic selection to the first team while senior setter Jaclyn Ward was also voted to the first team to represent the Bearkats.
Houston Baptist, Incarnate Word, Lamar University, New Orleans and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi each garnered a single selection. The Islanders’ junior right side/setter Madison Green was the top vote-getter outside of the eight automatic selections.
Each member of the preseason teams is an upperclassmen with just four juniors receiving the accolade. Seventeen of the 18 selections are Texas natives.
Returning players from the 2017 All-Conference First and Second teams are automatically named to the 2018 Preseason All-Conference teams. Vacant positions are nominated and voted upon by the conference’s head coaches. Voting for one’s own players is not permitted.