The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local Sports

January 10, 2013

Men’s volleyball team picked 2nd in CC poll

Thursday, January 10, 2013 — Conference Carolinas men’s volleyball head coaches recently voted on the 2013 preseason polls.

Mount Olive took the number one position with Pfeiffer and Limestone following behind closely to round out the top three spots. The Falcons easily took home both the regular season and conference tournament championships last season.

Mount Olive hopes to ride the momentum of last season as the Trojans won 12 of their final 14 regular season matches and advanced to the championship match of the Conference Carolinas Tournament for the third consecutive year.

Mount Olive posted a 17-14 record last year and tied for second in the conference standings with a 7-3 mark, winning a tournament semifinal match on the road to play for the championship.

The Trojans return five full or part-time starters, including a pair of All-Conference Carolinas first team outside hitters. Adam Miracle, who was the 2010 Freshman of the Year, has earned first team honors in each of the last two years. Angel Dache was named to the 2011 first team, but missed all of 2012 with an injury. Libero Dan Arnold was named to last year’s All-Tournament Team. Opposite side hitter Alex Rivero was second on the team in kills last year, while middle blocker Tim Ebbecke averaged 1.40 blocks per set.

Despite capturing the 2012 Conference Carolinas regular season and tournament championships, the Pfeiffer University men’s volleyball team has been picked second in the 2013 preseason coaches’ poll. Last season, the Falcons set school records for most wins in a season (21) and win streak (11).

Caleb Brophy returns to lead the Falcons after leading the league in kills per set at 3.45 a year ago while also leading the way with 24 aces. Brophy would conclude 2012 ranking inside the league’s top-five in eight different categories.

 Also returning for the Falcons in 2013 is libero Mark Hess, who led the conference with 220 digs, and setter David Specian who held the top spot in assists per set at 10.84.

As a team, Pfeiffer led the league in kills per set (12.88), assists per set (12.05), digs (961), digs per set (9.71) and points per set (16.3). Brophy, Specian and Hess all return as post-season all-conference members while Brophy and Specian were named to the all-tournament team.

Limestone men’s volleyball enters 2013 following one of the most impressive seasons in program history and will return the entire team, including 2012 Co-Player of the Year senior right side hitter Scott Warren along with fellow All-Conference selections in senior outside hitter Kevin Hart, senior libero Joe Gilliland and senior middle hitter Derek Daley.

Lees-McRae finished fourth in the poll with King fifth, Belmont Abbey sixth, Coker seventh, Barton eighth and Erskine ninth, respectively.

The league’s men’s volleyball programs take another step forward this year adding three new teams to the fold in just their second year as a fully sponsored conference sport.  

Belmont Abbey, Coker and Erskine add new teams this year and will battle for a spot in the four-team conference tournament championship, which will determine the eventual league titleholder this April.

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