UCA Sugar Bears picked third

The Southland Conference recently released it preseason polls for volleyball and the Central Arkansas Sugar Bears were once against picked to be one of the league’s best teams. UCA was picked to finish third by the league’s Sports Information Directors, while the SLC’s head coaches picked the Sugar Bears to finish fourth.

The SIDs and coaches agreed on the top five teams in the Southland, though Sam Houston State was the only team to finish consistently in both polls. The Bearkats were pegged to finish fifth by both groups. The SID’s picked defending Southland champion Texas A&M-Corpus Christi to win the league again, while the coaches tabbed Stephen F. Austin as the top choice. Each poll took the others No.1 as their second pick. The two polls were again split at Nos. three and four, as the SID’s selected the Sugar Bears third and the coaches went with Houston Baptist. Again, the teams flipped spots in the other poll, with the SID’s tabbing the Huskies to finish fourth and the Coaches selecting UCA to round out the top four.

Central Arkansas is set to begin its second season under the guidance of head coach Jeni Jones Chatman. Last season, the Sugar Bears finished the season with an overall record of 16-13, while finishing second in the Southland behind a 12-4 record in conference play.

The Sugar Bears begin their season with a pair of exhibition matches in mid-August. On Friday, Aug. 19, the UCA Volleyball Program will play its annual Purple/Gray match, where fans will get to see the Sugar Bears in action for the first time this year. On Saturday, Aug. 20, the Sugar Bears will suit up for their annual Alumni Match, which sees UCA take the court against an all-star team composed of former UCA Volleyball greats.