NASHVILLE --- Tennessee State volleyball was picked to finish third in the Preseason Poll that was released today by the Ohio Valley Conference. Senior outside hitter Chloe Watson and junior setter Samantha Beltran were named to the All-Preseason team.
Last year's conference champion Belmont was picked to repeat as champion with 16 first place votes and 235 points. Murray State who finished last season with one regular season loss in conference play finished second with six first place votes and 227 points. The Tigers come in third with 178 total points, followed by Eastern Illinois with (172). Morehead State took two first place votes for a total of 159 points.
Eastern Kentucky came in at sixth with 140 points and right behind them in seventh was Tennessee Tech with (126). Southeast Missouri placed eighth with 92 points and 3 points behind them in ninth was SIUE with (89). Jacksonville State placed 10th with 82 points while Austin Peay and UT Martin tied for 11th with 38 points respectively.
The Tigers finished last season 16-14 with a conference record of 10-6. The Tigers are looking to make a run at the conference championship this season. They return six players and have six newcomers that make up this year's team.
Watson returns at outside hitter after having an all-around season last year posting 416 kills, 32 service aces and 321 digs. Beltran will be responsible for getting the ball to her hitters as she returns at setter after dishing out 1128 assist last year along with 39 service aces, and 242 digs. Taylor Patterson will also provide a lot of help after posting 309 digs and 150 kills on offense.
The Tigers will begin the season in the ISTAP Collegiate Cup 1 Tournament versus Texas Southern on August 26 in Montgomery, Alabama.
2016 Preseason All-OVC Volleyball Team
OH - Scottie Ingram, Murray State
OH - Arianna Person, Belmont
MH - Allie Hueston, Eastern Illinois
OH - Chloe Watson, Tennessee State
MB - Nzingha Clarke, Southeast
OH - Meredith Jewell, Morehead State
RS - Kristen Besselesen, Murray State
S - Emma Price, Belmont
S - Samantha Beltran, Tennessee State
OH/S - Taylor Smith, Eastern Illinois
L - Ellie Lorenz, Murray State
OH - Ashley Witt, SIUE
RS/MB - Brie Lewis
OH - Kellie Williams
2016 Media OVC Preseason Volleyball Predicted Order of Finish
1. Belmont (16 ﬁrst-place votes) - 235
2. Murray State (Six ﬁrst-place votes) - 227
3. Tennessee State - 178
4. Eastern Illinois - 172
5. Morehead State (Two ﬁrst-place votes) - 159
6. Eastern Kentucky - 140
7. Tennessee Tech - 126
8. Southeast Missouri - 92
9. SIUE - 89
10. Jacksonville State - 82
t11. Austin Peay - 38
t11. UT Martin - 38