BRENTWOOD, Tenn.— The Ohio Valley Conference has released the 2019 volleyball poll and SIUE has been picked fifth. The Conference has also released the All-OVC preseason team which features two SIUE players. The poll and preseason team are both voted on by OVC head volleyball coaches and sports information directors.
Everett was named the league's freshman of the year in 2018, after totaling three OVC Newcomer of the Week awards. She led the team in blocks (83) and was second in kills (206). Everett's top match performances were against Eastern Illinois where she tallied 22 kills and against Arkansas State where she recorded a season high of eight blocks.
McDonald was named to the All-OVC first team this past season after having a record-breaking junior year. She led the team in kills (316), and amassed the most kills in a match in SIUE's Division I era with 30 against Eastern Illinois. Volleymob.com named her honorable mention National Player of the Week (10/2) after earning OVC Player of the Week honors for her play against UT Martin and Southeast Missouri. McDonald also led the team in double-doubles including an impressive 24-kills, 21-dig match against UT Martin.
The Cougars are coming off an 8-8 OVC campaign, in which they tied for fifth place. The young team experienced growing pains with only one senior on the roster. They look to rebound this year after gaining valuable experience in the 2018 season.
The team will open up their season August 30th at the Northern Illinois Tournament.
2019 Preseason All-OVC Volleyball Team
Ginny (Gerig) Busse, Austin Peay
Chandler Clark, Morehead State
Hope Everett, SIUE
Becca Fernandez, Murray State
Kaylee Frear, Jacksonville State
Rachel Giustino, Murray State
Lexie Libbs, Jacksonville State
Olivia Lohmeier, Morehead State
Rachel McDonald, SIUE
Brooke Moore, Austin Peay
Hannah Phillips, UT Martin
Julia Pierson, Tennessee State
Lauren Rokey, Morehead State
Rachel Thomas, Tennessee Tech
Anne Wehrheim, Southeast Missouri
2019 OVC Volleyball Predicted Team Order of Finish
1. Murray State (12 first-place votes) - 228
2. Austin Peay ( Six first-place votes) - 212
3. Morehead State (Five first-place votes) - 207
4. Jacksonville State (One first-place vote) - 197
5. SIUE - 149
6. Southeast Missouri - 146
7. UT Martin - 117
8. Tennessee State - 85
9. Tennessee Tech - 83
10. Belmont - 66
11. Eastern Illinois - 64
12. Eastern Kentucky - 30