Volleyball Slated to Finish Sixth in Preseason Poll

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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (August 11, 2014) -- After a 15-19 finish in the 2013 campaign, the John Brown volleyball program has been picked to finish sixth in the Sooner Athletic Conference, according to voting by the league's coaches in the annual preseason poll announced Monday by the league office.

Wayland Baptist is the favorite to claim the 2014 conference volleyball title. The Pioneers, who finished last season with a school-best 36 wins, advanced to the NAIA national tournament semifinals before being eliminated by eventual champion, University of Texas-Brownsville. WBU was voted first on seven of the 8 ballots and finished with a total of 71 points. Oklahoma Baptist, the three-time SAC champion, was a close second receiving the two remaining top votes and 66 points.

Texas Wesleyan was ranked third with 53 points, while Southwestern Assemblies of God was fourth (50), Oklahoma City fifth (49), and John Brown sixth (38). Mid-America Christian (25), St. Gregory's (24) and Southwestern Christian (20) rounded out the poll.

The Golden Eagles will return four key contributors from the 2013 team, including junior outside hitter Audrey Dearien, junior outside hitter Melissa Bakke, sophomore outside hitter and middle blocker Molli Pugh and sophomore setter Shayna Daniels. Despite missing the end of the season with an injury, Dearien finished second on the team in kills (252) and second-best 41 services aces. Pugh and Bakke each contributed 201 kills on the campaign, good enough for third on the team, while Daniels tallied 619 assists and a team-leading 45 service aces. Pugh earned a spot on the All-Conference second team as Dearien and Daniels each were named to the Honorable Mention squad.

The 2014 volleyball season begins on Aug. 18. SAC teams will use a conference double round-robin scheduling model, in which each team plays a home and away match against each of the other teams.

The SAC champion will determined by league's post-season tournament. The top six teams in the final conference standings qualify, with the regular-season champion serving as the host beginning Nov. 13. The tournament winner earns the SAC's automatic qualification into the NAIA Championships.

The SAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

No.

Team

1st

2nd

3rd

4th

5th

6th

7th

8th

Total

1

Wayland Baptist

7

1

           

71

2

Oklahoma Baptist

2

6

           

66

3

Texas Wesleyan  

1

4

2

1

     

53

4.

Southwestern Assemblies of God  

1

2

3

2

     

50

5.

Oklahoma City    

3

3

2

     

49

6.

John Brown      

1

4

3

   

38

7.

Mid-America Christian          

2

5

1

25

8.

St. Gregory's          

3

2

3

24

9.

Southwestern Christian          

1

2

5

20

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