ASU volleyball picked to finish 2nd in Sun Belt West Division

JONESBORO, Ark. ( —In preparation for the start of the women's volleyball season, the Sun Belt Conference released its preseason awards, all-conference team and coaches' poll Thursday morning.

The Red Wolves were picked to finish second in the Western Division after receiving 43 points and two first place votes. North Texas was picked to finish first, garnering 45 points and six first place votes. Arkansas-Little Rock was selected to finish third, while Louisiana-Lafayette was picked fourth and Louisiana-Monroe was selected fifth.

In the Eastern Division Western Kentucky led the way 63 points and eight first place votes. Middle Tennessee was picked second with 56 points, followed by Florida International, South Alabama, Troy and Florida Atlantic.

A-State finished the 2011 season with a 20-10 overall record and a 12-4 record in Sun Belt Conference play. The Red Wolves won a share of the SBC West Division title for the third straight season and won the division outright for the first time since 1998. The squad returns 12 letterwinners, including five starters and libero Megan Baska. Second-team All-Conference selections Ashley Tipps and Allison Kearney also return along with senior Jasmine Terry, who finished second on the team in kills.

A-State opens the 2012 season Aug. 24-25 at the Rice Invitational in Houston, Texas. The Red Wolves will face Brigham Young on Friday at 4:30 p.m., followed by matches on Saturday against Rice at 12:30 p.m. and Air Force at 4:30 p.m.