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MEAC Announces 2017 Volleyball Preseason Honors

Courtesy: MEAC Media Relations
          Release: 08/09/2017
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Courtesy: Courtesy of Howard Sports Information

NORFOLK, Va., Aug. 9, 2017 – Howard senior outside hitter Khaila Donaldson was selected as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) Volleyball Preseason Player of the Year, the conference announced today. Howard was predicted to claim the Northern Division, while Florida A&M was chosen to win the Southern Division.

All awards are voted on by the conference’s head coaches and sports information directors.

Defending MEAC tournament champion Howard garnered 22 first-place votes to receive the top spot in the Northern Division. The Bison recorded a 26-6 overall record last season, including a 12-0 MEAC mark, under the direction of head coach Shaun Kupferberg. Donaldson, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player last season, led the team in points (508.5) and kills (436, 3.89 per set). Setter Tamia Dockery returns for her junior season and joins Donaldson on this year’s Preseason All-MEAC Team.

Dockery led the conference in assists last season with 1,061 (9.65 per set).

Florida A&M received 20 first-place votes after posting an undefeated 10-0 record in the Southern Division and a 17-12 overall mark last season. The Lady Rattlers boast three members of the 2017 Preseason All-MEAC team: reigning MEAC Co-Rookie of the Year Nicole Abreu, as well as sophomore outside hitter Maria Yvette Garcia and junior libero Valentina Carrasco.

Maryland Eastern Shore was picked to finish second in the Northern Division, receiving three first-place votes. Morgan State was predicted to finish third in the Northern Division, followed by Hampton, Norfolk State, Coppin State and Delaware State to round out the division.

Bethune-Cookman nabbed five first-place votes en route to being picked to finish second in the Southern Division. The Lady Wildcats are led by reigning MEAC Co-Rookie of the Year Alana Handy, who is on the Preseason All-MEAC Team alongside senior middle blocker Rakaya Neely.

North Carolina A&T State and North Carolina Central were chosen to finish third and fourth in the Southern Division, while Savannah State and South Carolina State were slated fifth and sixth, respectively.

The 2017 season begins on Friday, Aug. 25, with conference play kicking off on Thursday, Sept. 28.

The 2017 MEAC Volleyball Championship will be held Nov. 17-19 at the W.P. Hytche Athletic Center on the campus of Maryland Eastern Shore in Princess Anne, Md.


2017 MEAC Volleyball Preseason Predicted Order of Finish
(First-Place Votes In Parenthesis)   

Northern Division Points
1. Howard (22) 172
2. Maryland Eastern Shore (3) 152
3. Morgan State 105
4. Hampton 101
5. Norfolk State 87
6. Coppin State 43
7. Delaware State 40
Southern Division Points
1. Florida A&M (20) 145
2. Bethune-Cookman (5) 126
3. North Carolina A&T State 98
4. North Carolina Central 76
5. Savannah State 44
6. South Carolina State 36

2017 MEAC Volleyball Preseason Team
Preseason Player of the Year: Khaila Donaldson, Howard

Name School Class Pos. Hometown
Alana Handy Bethune-Cookman So. OH Burlington, Wash.
Rakaya Neely Bethune-Cookman Sr. MB Lake Wales, Fla.
Nicole Abreu Florida A&M So. OH Lima, Peru
Maria Yvette Garcia Florida A&M So. OH Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Valentina Carrasco Florida A&M Jr. L Lima, Peru
Khaila Donaldson Howard Sr. OH Vernon Hills, Ill.
Tamia Dockery Howard Jr. S Richmond, Texas