NORFOLK, Va.— The University of Maryland, Eastern Shore has announced that sophomore outside hitter Saitaua Iosia is the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Preseason Player of the Year and UMES was picked to finish first in the Northern Division
UMES, the five-time defending MEAC Champion, has the most members on the MEAC Volleyball Preseason Team and received 24 of the 26 possible first-place votes in the North Division.
Iosia of Long Beach, Calif. and setter Jessie Vicic of Ontario, Canada were both selected to the team by the conference's head coaches and sports information directors. Iosia, the reigning MEAC Rookie of the Year, First Team All-MEAC member, and MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Performer, earned 472 kills to lead the conference, averaging over four kills a game and a MEAC-leading 4.77 points per set. Iosia added 49 service aces, 268 digs, and 54 total blocks, finishing in the top-50 in Division I in points, aces, and kills per set.
Vicic, who earned First Team All-MEAC honors as a freshman, led the conference in assists last season with 1209 as the only setter to average double-digit assists per game with 10.42 per set. She also contributed 34 service aces, 150 digs and 59 total blocks. Vicic, Iosia, and the Hawks plan to begin their season on August 24th at the SFC Terrier Invitational in Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.
The rest of the team includes Bethune-Cookman junior outside hitter Krysta Gardner, South Carolina State junior middle hitter Desire Waller, Norfolk State senior middle blocker Charlotte Armstead and Florida A&M senior libero Karol Marquez.
Hampton was predicted to finish second and Morgan State third in the division. In the MEAC South, Florida A&M is predicted to finish first with 20 first-place votes and South Carolina State is expected to finish second.