Bowling Green, Ky. — Western Kentucky University volleyball stars Megan Argabright and Julia Noe were named to the Sun Belt Conference preseason All-Sun Belt team, the conference office announced today. The seniors joined six other honorees on the list. Additionally, the Lady Toppers were selected to finish second in the East division by the league's coaches tallying 64 points and one first place vote in the poll.
Argabright, a three-time AVCA All-America selection and a two-time Collegiate Volleyball Update Stellar Spikers Team member, was named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference in 2007 for the third consecutive year. Last season she ranked third in the Sun Belt with a .373 hitting percentage and in kills per game with 4.23. In addition, Argabright finished ranked nationally among all Division I players in both hitting percentage and kills per game. She enters her final season at WKU ranked third on WKU's career kills list with 1,536 and needs just 206 more to top the record book.
"I feel like Megan is the premier player in the league," Head Coach Travis Hudson said. "She is a three-time All-American and I think that her resume really speaks for itself. I believe that she is going to have yet another tremendous year."
Noe, also named to the Collegiate Volleyball Update Stellar Spikers Team in 2007, earned first-team All-Conference honors in 2007 after leading the Lady Toppers with 1,592 assists. The Louisville, Ky., native became just the sixth Lady Topper to record 1,500 assists in a season. She finished the season ranked second in the league in assists per game averaging 12.74, which was the 31st best average in the nation. Noe was named the CVU.com National Player of the Week on Oct. 3 and set a WKU career record last season by recording four triple-doubles on the year. She will enter her senior season just three assists shy of 3,000 for her carrer and is ranked fifth on the Lady Topper career list.
"Julia has really expanded her game every year that she has been here," Hudson stated. I have always said that she is a special player because she does so much more than set. She is a great server and is a good offensive weapon."
Argabright and Noe will serve as leaders for the 2008 Lady Topper team. The team, that is coming up off one of the best seasons in school history, earned the Sun Belt's first NCAA Tournament At-Large Bid in 2007 and will be looking to surpass its achievements from a year ago. The Lady Toppers will open up the 2008 season ranked 45th in country.
"The seniors on our team are poised to lead us to a tremendous year," Hudson said. "They have taken care of their jobs this preseason and have shown that they can be tremendous leaders for this team."
Joining Argabright and Noe on the preseason All-Sun Belt Team were Amila Barakovic from UALR, Kacie Wikierak from Denver, Olga Vergun and Yarimar Rosa from Florida International and Ashley Asberry and Leslie Clark from Middle Tennessee. Wikierak and Rosa were also honored by the league office being named the preseason defensive player and player of the year respectively.
Finally, in the 2008 preseason poll Middle Tennessee and Denver were selected as the early favorites to win the East and West divisions. In the East division, Middle Tennessee picked up 77 points and 12 first place votes followed by WKU's 64 points and one first place vote. Florida International was picked third with 53 points and Troy, South Alabama and Florida Atlantic were picked to finish fourth through six with 39, 21 and 19 points respectively.
In the West division, Denver topped the list with 87 points and 10 first place votes while New Orleans tallied 70 points and two first place votes. Coming in third place was UALR with 66 points and Arkansas State barely edged North Texas by just one point with 48 points and one first place vote. Rounding out the list was Louisiana-Lafayette in sixth place with 32 points and ULM finished in seventh place with 14 points.
The WKU volleyball team will open up the 2008 season in the Crimson Tide Invitational on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. The team will then open up the 2008 conference schedule by hosting defending Sun Belt Champions Middle Tennessee on Sep. 26 at 7 p.m.