Coaches pick Braves third in preseason

Carrollton, GA – August 4, 2005 – One thing is for certain about the 2005 UWG volleyball season. The Braves will be out to prove that a trip to the 2004 Gulf South Conference tournament is no fluke. The coaches in the GSC East Division don’t seem to think it was, as West Georgia was picked third in the preseason Coaches’ Poll, released by conference officials Thursday morning.

The Braves finished the 2004 season at 24-9 and third in the GSC East. The third-place finish earned West Georgia its first spot in the Gulf South Conference Tournament. The squad beat Henderson State in the quarterfinals and bowed out to eventual champion North Alabama in the semifinals.

Returning from that team are two All-GSC players from a year ago, seniors Stephanie Singleton and Kathi Schoeneck. Schoeneck, a second-team selection in 2004, led the Braves with a .283 hitting percentage as a junior, earning a spot on the GSC tourney All-Tournament team as well. She was one of four unanimous preseason All-GSC selections this year.

Singleton earned her second straight preseason All-GSC selection after leading the Braves in kills for the third straight season last year. She enters her final season in a UWG uniform sitting at third or fourth in the record books in four different categories. She is 43 digs, 35 service aces and 136 kills away from the becoming the all-time leader in each category.

West Georgia was picked third with 33 votes behind reigning GSC champion North Alabama (46) and Alabama-Huntsville (42). The Braves edged West Florida (31) in the voting, The Argos had their season cut short in 2004 due to damage from Hurricane Ivan, playing only 12 matches before the hurricane hit.

Lincoln Memorial, West Alabama, Montevallo and Valdosta State rounded out the final four spots.

The 2005 team reports next Wednesday to begin the march for another tournament berth. The season starts in Florence, SC, on August 27 against St. Andrews.

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