JONESBORO, Ark. (8/6/18) – Arkansas State seniors Carlisa May and Ellie Watkins were named the SBC Preseason Offensive Player of the Year and Setter of the Year, respectively, while A-State was picked to finish second in the West Division as the league released its Preseason All-SBC Team and Preseason Poll Monday morning.

A native of Lee’s Summit, Mo., May earned the Preseason Offensive Player of the Year award after posting a 4.23 kills per set average and 507 total kills, which ranked as the most since the 2004 season for an A-State player. The outside hitter was the 2017 SBC Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-SBC, and an American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Southwest Region honorable mention selection.

Watkins, a native of Weldon Spring, Mo., led the league with an 11.07 assists per set average and dished out 996 helpers in 2017. The senior setter earned Second-Team All-SBC honors last season for her efforts. She also tallied 77 kills, 159 digs, 17 aces, and 34 blocks. Additionally, Watkins was third on the team with four double-doubles.

Both players were also part of the 12-member Preseason All-SBC squad. A-State was one of just three teams with multiple selections on the team.

The Red Wolves were chosen to finish second in the West Division by the league coaches with 58 points and one first-place vote. Texas State was picked to win with 70 points and 10 first-place votes, while Louisiana, UT Arlington, Little Rock, and ULM rounded out the rest of the division. Coastal Carolina was picked to win the East Division with 67 points over South Alabama’s 63.

Arkansas State opens the 2018 campaign Friday, Aug. 24 against UAPB at the Memphis Invitational.

Fans can follow the team on Twitter (@AStateVB) and Instagram (astatevb) along with liking the Arkansas State University Volleyball page on Facebook for the latest news and updates regarding the team.

2018 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason All-Conference Team
*Carlisa May, Arkansas State (Sr., OH, Lee's Summit, Mo.)
**Ellie Watkins, Arkansas State (Sr., S, Weldon Spring, Mo.)
Kyla Manning, Coastal Carolina (So., OH, Atlanta, Ga.)
*Lauren Reichard, Georgia Southern (Sr., MH, Wrightsville, Pa.)
*Dree'Ana Abram, Louisiana (Jr., MB, Marshall, Texas)
*Hali Wisnoskie, Louisiana (So., OH, Columbus, Texas)
*Kelley Hartman, South Alabama (Jr., MB, Woodstock, Ga.)
**Zhanelle Geathers, UTA (Jr., OH, Lindale, Texas)
*Madison Daigle, Texas State (Sr., MB, Baton Rouge, La.)
*Micah Dinwiddie, Texas State (Jr., DS, Lewisville, Texas)
*Amy Pflughaupt, Texas State (Sr., OH, El Campo, Texas)
**Megan Porter, Texas State (Sr., OH, Southlake, Texas)

*Denotes 2017 All-Sun Belt First Team | **Denotes 2017 All-Sun Belt Second Team

2018 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Carlisa May, Arkansas State (Sr., OH, Lee's Summit, Mo.)

2018 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Micah Dinwiddie, Texas State (Jr., DS. Lewisville, Texas)

2018 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Setter of the Year
Ellie Watkins, Arkansas State (Sr., S, Weldon Spring, Mo.)

2018 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Poll
first-place votes in parentheses

East Division
Rank   Team                         Points
1.         Coastal Carolina (8)  67
2.         South Alabama (4)    63
3.         Appalachian State     44
4.         Troy                           37
5.         Georgia State            22
6.         Georgia Southern      19

West Division
Rank  Team                          Points
1.        Texas State (10)         70
2.        Arkansas State (1)     58
3.        Louisiana(1)               51
4.        UTA                            32
5.        Little Rock                  27
6.        ULM                           14