Montevallo volleyball picked to finish third in conference

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The University of Montevallo volleyball team was voted to finish third in the Peach Belt Conference standings, according to league coaches in a poll released Aug. 26.

The Falcons were selected to finish tied for third last season and ended the year in second place in the conference with a 24-13 record. Montevallo advanced to the NCAA Southeast Region tournament a year ago.

The Falcons advanced to their first NCAA Tournament as a member of the Peach Belt Conference in 2010 and also captured their first victory in the NCAA Tournament in program history with a 3-1 win over Lincoln Memorial University in the first round.

Montevallo returns All-Region performers Anna Garrison and Manyi Ati.

Garrison was Co-Setter of the Year last season in the conference and was recently selected to the preseason All-Peach Belt Conference team. Ati was named Freshman of the Year in the conference last season and was also named to the preseason All-Conference team this year.

The Falcons led the Peach Belt in kills and assists last year, while finishing second in digs. Montevallo finished with an 11-3 record in conference and secured the second place spot with a three-match lead over Armstrong Atlantic.

Armstrong Atlantic is picked to finish ahead of the Falcons in 2011 despite last season’s results. Defending conference champion Flagler garnered all but one first-place vote as it secured the top spot in the poll. Following Montevallo is USC-Aiken, Francis Marion, UNC-Pembroke, Augusta State and Lander.

The Falcons will open the season Sept. 2-3 at the Christian Brothers University tournament. The Falcons will face Christian Brothers, the University of West Georgia, Ouachita Baptist University and Henderson State University.