MEAC ANNOUNCES VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON HONORS

Courtesy: MEAC Media Relations
          Release: 07/11/2012
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Courtesy: Courtesy of MDES Sports Information

NORFOLK, Va., July 11, 2012 - Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) outside hitter Saitaua Iosia 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 defending MEAC champion UMES Lady Hawks and Florida A&M Lady Rattlers were chosen for the third consecutive year as the preseason favorites in the northern and southern divisions, respectively.

Iosia, the 2011 MEAC Rookie of the Year, led the MEAC in kills (472) and points per set (4.77). She was also fourth in the conference in aces per set (0.42) and hitting percentage (.292). Iosia concluded her rookie campaign with 49 service aces, 268 digs and 54 blocks (10 solo). The sophomore was an All-MEAC First Team selection and earned the MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Performer honor. She won 10 conference weekly awards and was the first MEAC player ever to earn an American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Player of the Week honor.

UMES posted an unblemished 12-0 mark in MEAC play and 24-7 overall record in 2011. The Lady Hawks captured their first-ever conference championship title with a 3-2 victory against Florida A&M in 2011. In addition to Iosia, UMES welcomes back four of its top scorers and five starters, including two all-conference players.

Florida A&M finished with a 9-1 mark in conference play and a 13-14 overall record a year ago. The Lady Rattlers return seven letterwinners from last year's team including All-MEAC preseason selection Karol Marquez. Marquez, a senior libero and defensive specialist from Lima, Peru, saw action in 95 sets, collecting 447 digs and averaging 4.71 digs per set to earn All-MEAC First Team honors last year.

In addition to Iosia and Marquez, UMES' Jessica Vicic, Bethune-Cookman's Krysta Gardner, Desire Waller of South Carolina State and Charlotte Armstead of Norfolk State round out the list of preseason honorees.

Hampton received a total of 216 points and a first-place vote for a second place predicted order of finish in the northern division followed by Morgan State, Norfolk State, Delaware State, Howard and Coppin State.

In the southern division, South Carolina State was chosen to finish second followed by Bethune-Cookman, North Carolina Central, North Carolina A&T and Savannah State.

For more information MEAC Volleyball and other sponsored sports, log on to www.MEACsports.com.

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