Spartanburg, SC — The Converse College volleyball team was voted to finish fourth in the Carolinas-Virginia Athletics Conference. The pre-season poll, which was released this week by conference officials, is voted on by each of the conference’s eleven volleyball coaches. Converse finished fourth in the regular season last year in just their first season under the leadership of Bill Rude. Converse’s finish was impressive enough to earn Coach Rude the CVAC Coach of the Year award.
Converse’s path to better the pre-season predictions will have to go through Lees-McRae, who for the second year in a row garners the top pre-season spot. The Bobcats received the most first place votes with six. Lees-McRae has won the last three CVAC Tournament championships, a tournament that Converse will be hosting this season. Last year’s regular season champion, Mount Olive, finished in second place in the pre-season poll. Mount Olive received 2 first places. The only other team ahead of the All-Stars in the poll is Coker College. Coker, who received one first place vote, finished in the same third place spot in the 2005 season.
Converse also received a first place vote from the coaches’ poll, a poll in which a coach can not vote for its own team. The final first place vote went to Limestone College who is in the sixth spot. Anderson University rounds out the top five of the pre-season poll.
Converse returns four starters from last year’s squad which recorded 24.13 digs per game. That average was the best in the nation. Adding to that defense and providing some offense as well is senior Lauren Mueller. Mueller ranked in the top ten in the CVAC in both hitting percentage (8th) and blocks per game (5th). For her efforts, she received CVAC Honorable Mention last season. The Alabama native also appears on the 2006 CVAC ‘Pre-Season Players to Watch’ list.
The All-Stars volleyball team begins their season this Friday as they host the Converse Volleyball Invitational. Converse will be in action on Friday as they take on North Carolina Central at 3:30 pm. They will return to the twice on Saturday to face Elizabeth City University at 1:30 pm before squaring off with Fayetteville State University at 3:45 pm. The All-Stars will begin CVAC play when host Anderson University on September 7th at 7:00 pm.