Lady Demons picked sixth in Southland preseason poll

The Southland Conference released its 2021 spring volleyball preseason poll on Wednesday with Northwestern State picked to finish sixth based on votes by the league’s coaches and sports information directors. 

The Lady Demons, coming off their fifth 20-win season and second postseason appearance, land in the upper half of the league poll just 18 points behind fifth-place Houston Baptist. 

Defending regular-season and tournament champion Stephen F. Austin was chosen to repeat garnering 16 of the 26 first-place votes. Sam Houston State (eight first-place votes) and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (two first-place votes) round out the top three with Central Arkansas and Houston Baptist come in a four and five. 

The Lady Demons return just four players from the 2019 squad. Perhaps the most notable name missing from a season ago is SLC Player of the Year Hannah Brister who finished her undergraduate work in the fall and moved on to pursue a master’s degree. 

Sixth-year head coach Sean Kiracofe will have a young talented group to work with that include four freshmen and two sophomore transfers. Defensive specialist Haley Hoang, middle Reagan Lee and outside Darria Williams bring the bulk of the match experience back for the upcoming campaign. 

The spring season begins with a pair of non-conference home matches against Louisiana Tech (Jan. 26) and Grambling (Jan. 28) before the Lady Demons take on Sam Houston and Houston Baptist to begin SLC play the first weekend of February. 

The top eight teams at the end of the regular season will compete in the SLC Tournament in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Photo Credit: Chris Reich, NSU Photographic Services

2021 Southland Conference Spring Volleyball Preseason Poll 

Stephen F. Austin (16)        276 
Sam Houston (8) 266 
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (2)238
Central Arkansas220
Houston Baptist199
Northwestern State181
Southeastern La.157
Abilene Christian 120
New Orleans119
Lamar 57