COOKEVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Tech volleyball team was picked to finish fourth in the 2011 Ohio Valley Conference race. The poll was conducted by the coaches and sports information directors from around the OVC.
Morehead State was picked to finish first in the preseason poll, receiving 192 points, including 13 first-place votes. Austin Peay came in second with five first-place notches and a total of 172 points. Jacksonville State edged TTU by 11 points for third place with 141, while Eastern Kentucky finished one vote behind Tech’s 130 points with 129.
“I think Morehead State is deserving to be picked first, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll have an easy road,” head coach John Blair said. “They’ll have to be ready each week because each team in the OVC will be fired up to face them.”
Murray State ranked sixth with 102 points, while Eastern Illinois followed close behind in seventh with 98 points. Tennessee State (98 points), Southeast Missouri (71 points), UT Martin (45 points) and SIU Edwardsville (44 points) rounded out the poll.
Junior middle blocker Kelsey Gray made the only TTU appearance on the preseason all-OVC team. Last season, Gray finished with 126 total blocks (1.06 bps) and 270 kills (2.35 kps), while hitting at a .259 clip.
“Kelsey Gray being selected is a well-deserved honor,” Blair said. “She showed herself to be one of the up and coming players last season, who can make an impact on both sides of the net.”
The Golden Eagles begin their 2011 season August 26, at the Georgia Tech Invitational, as they take on Louisville.
Rank Team(First-Place Votes) Points
1 Morehead State(13) 192
2 Austin Peay(5) 172
3 Jacksonville State(3) 141
4 Tennessee Tech(1) 130
5 Eastern Kentucky 129
6 Murray State 102
7 Eastern Illinois 98
8 Tennessee State 85
9 Southeast Missouri 71
10 UT Martin 45
11 SIU Edwardsville 44
Player School Pos. Cl. Ht. Hometown
Nikki Doyle Austin Peay OH Jr. 5-11 Santa Maria, Calif.
Shaquita Williams Tennessee State MB/OH Sr. 6-0 Huntsville, Ala.
Ellie Robertson Morehead State OH Jr. 6-2 Louisville, Ky.
Emma Keough Morehead State MB R-Sr. 5-11 Batavia, Ohio
Kelsey Gray Tennessee Tech MB Jr. 6-2 Newark, Ohio
Chrissie Albers Eastern Illinois S Sr. 6-0 Springfield, Ill.
Kasey Elswick UT Martin L/DS Jr. 5-7 Louisville, Ky.
Jen Meyer Jacksonville State OH Jr. 6-1 Maineville, Ohio
Ashley Edmond Eastern Kentucky OH So. 6-0 Michigan City, Ind.
Reynae Hutchison Eastern Illinois OH So. 5-11 Mattoon, Ill.
Emily Coon Southeast Missouri MB So. 6-2 Imperial, Mo.
Kayleah Sauer Murray State L Sr. 5-7 Louisville, Ky.
Annie Gruenschlaeger Morehead State MB Jr. 6-4 Ft. Thomas, Ky.
Ashley Doherty UT Martin MB Sr. 5-11 Crystal Lake, Ill.