RICHARDSON, Texas — Eastern New Mexico University enters the 2013 volleyball season looking up at the rest of the Lone Star Conference.
The Zias, under first-year coach Sia Poyer, were picked to finish last in the now-nine-team league in the LSC preseason poll, released by the conference office on Tuesday.
West Texas A&M, which has won seven consecutive LSC tournament title, was given a slight edge to unseat Angelo State as the league’s regular-season champion. The Lady Buffs (33-5, 17-3 LSC last year) earned 211 points and 12 of the 25 first-place votes from LSC head coaches and sports information directors, plus some media members, while ASU had 208 points and 10 first-place tallies.
Texas Woman’s had the final three first-place votes and finished third with 161 points.
The Zias (6-24, 1-19 in 2012) received 33 points to trail eighth-place Cameron by 29.
Teams began regular-season play in early September. Each team will play home-and-home against the other eight.
The Zias open the season with four matches in a tournament scheduled for Sept. 6-7 at Midwestern State, then play four times again in a weekend event Sept. 13-14 at New Mexico Highlands before opening their LSC slate at Cameron on Sept. 17.
The Zias’ only other out-of-conference match will be at home on Oct. 1 against Lubbock Christian.
Team (1st-place votes) Pts.
1. West Texas A&M (12) 211
2. Angelo State (10) 208
3. Texas Woman’s (3) 161
4. Tarleton State 155
5. Texas A&M-Commerce 113
6. Texas A&M-Kingsville 101
7. Midwestern State 81
8. Cameron 62
9. Eastern New Mexico 33
Offensive player of the year — Maddie Huth, Sr., MB, Angelo State
Defensive player of the year — Shelby Witt, Jr., DS, Angelo State
Setter of the year — Jordan Neal, Sr., S, Texas A&M-Commerce