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Lady Lions return veteran team from 2012

Coach Moore discusses the Sooner Athletic Conference

WAXAHACHIE, Texas  — As one of the new kids on the block, the Southwestern Assemblies of God University women’s volleyball team will have to earn their stripes.

On Monday, August 12, the Pre-Season Coaches Poll in the Sooner Athletic Conference predicted the Lady Lions would finish in fifth place in the league. The S.A.C. is considered one of, if not the best conference in the NAIA.

The high mark says as much about SAGU’s eight consecutive winning regular season records as it does for this year’s returning squad, which lost only player from the 2012 team that went 18-17.

“Being ranked #5 gives us a little glimpse into what is ahead,” said veteran Head Coach Hank Moore , who is beginning his 13th year at the helm. He has long been a respecter of the Sooner and is very familiar with its constituents.

The results of the entire poll are posted below.

Oklahoma Baptist University is an incredible program. I had the privilege of watching them play at the NAIA National Tournament,” Moore added. “They had an excellent team that returns a large number of starters.”

The Bison were 35-6 overall and sailed through the SAC with a 12-0 mark. In fact, they have not dropped a conference match since 2010.

Wayland Baptist has one of the best coaches in the country. He ( Jim Giacomazzi ) is a master teacher and motivator,” Moore continued. “OCU has a rich history behind them. Their coach ( Nikki Dieball ) always has her teams ready to play. We split with them last year. Both were very good matches.”

WBU was 19-15 and finished third with an 8-4 league ledger. Oklahoma City University , 15-22, was fourth at 5-7.

John Brown University is always very good. We have played them several times and know they will be very strong,” Moore said, praising the Golden Eagles. JBU racked up a 22-16 overall record last fall.

Texas Wesleyan University , like the Lady Lions and Northwood University , moved from the Red River Athletic Conference this year. The Lady Rams (19-15 in 2012) and SAGU enjoy a good rivalry on the court that should continue.

TWU will have a new coach this year ( Kimberly Weaver ), according to Moore, “but they also return many starters from last season.”

“MACU is always very well coached and is a very good program,” he pointed out. The Lady Evangels were 18-16 in all matches under Head Coach Craig Ruiz .

“Each one of these teams can beat anyone in our conference on any night,” observed Moore. “SAGU will come out and compete in every match.”

He said the Purple Pride has set ‘private’ team goals for this fall. “Where we are seeded going into the season helps us realize that we have a lot of work ahead us.”

SAGU will be led by the return of three First Team All-Conference performers; setter Taylor Calverley (Arlington, Tx / Grace Prep), outside hitter Jessica Sodich (Arlington, Tx / Ovilla Christian) and middle blocker Kassy Cox (Lufkin, Tx / Lufkin HS) . Calverley and Cox are seniors. Sodich is entering her junior campaign.

The Lady Lions first match is slated for Monday, August 26, at Wiley College . The 7:00pm match in Marshall, Texas can be followed on-line, play-by-play on LiveStats . The Wildcats were 22-8 last year.

SAGU has scheduled a home scrimmage two days prior, Saturday, Aug. 24, at home against Dallas Baptist University at 10:00am.

Coach Moore’s squad has a 30 match itinerary. Eleven of them are at home, with seven broadcast in HD by SAGU Sports Live .

Contact : Mark “Link” Warde , SAGU Sports Information Director, at [email protected] or at 469-658-2847.

SAC Volleyball Pre-Season 2013 Coaches Poll

Rank Team (First Place Votes) 2012 Record Poll Points
1 Oklahoma Baptist Univ (8) 35-6 64
2 Wayland Baptist Univ (1) 19-15 55
3 Oklahoma City Univ 15-22 46
4 John Brown Univ 22-16 40
5 SAGU 18-17 36
6 Texas WEsleyan Univ 19-15 35
7 Mid-American Christian Univ 18-16 22
8 St. Gregory’s Univ 12-15 18
9 Southwestern Christian Univ 3-31 8
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