Texas State has won three of the last four Southland Conference (SLC) volleyball tournaments, while Stephen F. Austin has won or shared the league’s last four regular season titles.
Not surprisingly, the Bobcats and SFA track each other closely in the SLC preseason polls of the coaches and sports information directors, with Texas State receiving the slightest edge as the league favorite.
On the strength of eight first-place votes in the coaches poll, Texas State came out ahead of Stephen F. Austin, 114-113 in the poll released Wednesday by the league office. The two schools tied on top of the SID poll with 111 votes, though Texas State led in first-place votes with seven.
The Bobcats return six starters from an operation that knocked the first two seeds out of last year’s SLC tournament. The polls pose Lamar as Texas State’s top threat in the West Division, with each giving the Cardinals one first-place vote. After winning the division last year, Lamar returns four starters, including 2007 SLC Setter of the Year Adrianne Meengs. Lamar totaled 73 points in the coaches poll and 101 points in the SID poll.
Texas-Arlington came up second in the West Division from the coaches poll, followed by Lamar, which came up second in the SID poll, followed by UTA. Following in each poll are Texas-San Antonio, Sam Houston State and Texas A&M -Corpus Christi, in that order.
In the East Division, Central Arkansas came in second in the SID poll and third in the coaches poll, while McNeese State is second in the coaches poll and third in the SID poll. Northwestern State is fourth in each poll. The coaches put Southeastern Louisiana fifth and Nicholls State sixth, while the SIDs put Nicholls State fifth and Southeastern Louisiana sixth.