PIKEVILLE – After finishing 15-22 overall and 0-16 in league play last season, the University of Pikeville volleyball team was picked to finish eighth in the Mid-South Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll released on Thursday.
Second-year head coach Obed Quiles knows his team has work to do, but is excited about having more time to get his players used to his system in the preseason after taking over the program in the middle of August last year.
“This is the first time for me to train with them in the preseason after being named interim coach before the first match last year,” said Quiles. “Now this is my team, we have two newcomers on the roster and we’re putting in a new system, so I don’t think we have to worry about the polls, just worry about ourselves and how we start the season.”
To no surprise, Lindsey Wilson and Georgetown lead the preseason predictions after finishing last season ranked third and eighth in the NAIA Top-25 Poll, respectively.
Lindsey Wilson received six of the eight available first-place votes to take the top spot, while Georgetown picked up the remaining two to come in second in the poll. Cumberlands rounds out the top three with 33 points.
The middle of the pack starts with Campbellsville at No. 4 (28 points), followed by Cumberland (Tenn.) at No. 5 (26), Life (Ga.) at No. 6 (25) and Shawnee State (Ohio) at No. 7 (12).
Betsy Layne High School graduate Cecelia Ray is a junior setter/outside hitter for the Bears.
UPIKE closes the poll with eight points, but will quickly get a chance to prove itself against Shawnee State as the meeting of the Bears takes place at 7 p.m. on Aug. 30 in the MSC opener at UPIKE Gym.