Aug. 26, 2004
Cullowhee, N.C. - The Southern Conference volleyball coaches selected 12 players to the preseason all-league team, including Western's Kellyn Thaut, while Western Carolina was picked to finish third in the SoCon North.
The College of Charleston, of the SoCon South Division, received nine of the 12 available first place votes grab the overall top spot on the poll, while Appalachian State was picked to win the SoCon North Division. Elon was picked second in the SoCon North with Western, Chattanooga, East Tennessee State and UNC Greensboro round out the division.
On the 12-member preseason All-SoCon team, there were two unanimous picks among the group, including Thaut and Julia Fredrickson. Thaut, a sophomore from Hastings, Neb., was selected the SoCon Freshman of the Year last season, the first such honor ever by a Catamount, and Furman's Fredrickson is a returning second team all-league pick from last season. Thaut ranked sixth in the SoCon in kills. With her powerful jump serve, Thaut became a well-known scoring threat around the conference. She finished the season with 445 kills (3.74/gm) to lead the Catamounts. She additionally led the squad in service aces with 36 and in points, earning 4.25 per contest. Thaut also ranked second on the team in digs, tallying 368 on the season (3.09/gm), while recording 18 double-doubles for the season.
The College of Charleston led the league in voting, placing three players on the team with outside hitters Sara Davis, Marie Dobrenz and setter Kayce Carr representing Cougars. Appalachian State had two players on the all-conference team in outside hitter Kali Rumberger and setter Amber Mangrum. Georgia Southern also placed two players on the squad. Middle blocker Kristen Kasprak and outside hitter Jance Pressley made the team for the Eagles. Wofford's Andrea Duke, a second team all-conference pick from last season, Davidson's Jenna Dystra and Emily Hayes of Elon round out the preseason team.
The Catamount volleyball season begins play on Wednesday, Sept. 1, with a match at Clemson. Western will to return to Clemson two days later to play in the Clemson Invitational Tournament (Sept. 3-4).
2004 Southern Conference Volleyball Preseason Poll
SoCon North Division
1. Appalachian State
3. Western Carolina
5. East Tennessee State
6. UNC Greensboro
SoCon South Division
1. College of Charleston
2. Georgia Southern
6. The Citadel
2004 Volleyball Preseason All-League Team
Amber Mangrum, Appalachian State
Kali Rumberger, Appalachian State
Kaycie Carr, College of Charleston
Marie Dobrenz, College of Charleston
Sara Davis, College of Charleston
Jenna Dykstra, Davidson
Emily Hayes, Elon
Julia Fredrickson, Furman *
Kristen Kaprak, Georgia Southern
Janice Pressley, Georgia Southern
Kellyn Thaut, Western Carolina *
Andrea Duke, Wofford
• - Unanimous pick