MEAC Announces 2010 Volleyball Preseason Honors

Courtesy: MEAC Media Relations
          Release: 07/21/2010
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Courtesy: MEAC Media Relations
Howard University outside hitter Gazelle d'Artois was named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Volleyball Preseason Player of the Year the conference announced today. Preseason honors were voted on by the conference's head volleyball coaches and sports information directors.

The Florida A&M Lady Rattlers and Maryland Eastern Shore Lady Hawks were picked as the preseason favorites in the southern and northern divisions, respectively. Florida A&M received 18 out of 22 first place votes, while Maryland Eastern Shore tallied 20 points in their respective divisions.

d'Artois, a 2009 All-MEAC First Team Selection, was second in the conference in kills per set (3.76) and points per set (4.23). She averaged 0.48 assists and 0.27 aces in 122 sets. Defensively, she added 2.21 digs and 0.35 blocks per set.

Florida A&M posted a 8-0 conference mark and a 17-10 overall record in 2009 en route to their ninth consecutive MEAC title. The Lady Rattlers return six starters and seven letterwinners from last year's championship team.

The Lady Hawks recorded an unblemished 10-0 conference mark for the third straight year and a 24-7 overall record in 2009. They welcome back five returnees including preseason All-MEAC outside hitter Christine Edwards, middle blocker Samantha Chukwura, and 2009 MEAC Rookie of the Year Bella Jade Romero.

Joining d'Artois, Edwards, Chukwura and Romero on the preseason team are Delaware State's Erica Tajchman and Florida A&M's Susan Egoavil.

In the southern division, Bethune-Cookman was predicted to finish second with 189 total points and two first-place selections, South Carolina State also tallied two first-place votes (186), followed by Norfolk State (161), and North Carolina A&T (143).

Delaware State recorded a school record 8-2 mark in conference play a year ago and was picked to finish second in the northern division with two first-place votes and 198 total points. Morgan State (166) was tabbed to finish third, followed by Howard (151), Hampton (148) and Coppin State (113).

Conference play begins on Monday, October 4 with the defending MEAC champion Florida A&M Lady Rattlers traveling to Norfolk, Virginia to take on the Norfolk State Spartans.

The 2010 MEAC Volleyball Championship will be held November 19-21 in Baltimore, Maryland on the campus of Coppin State University.

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