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Dixie State volleyball: DSU selected third in PacWest preseason poll

The Dixie State women’s volleyball team was picked to finish third by the Pacific West Conference coaches in the annual preseason poll released by the league Wednesday.

Defending PacWest champion Concordia-Irvine was the overwhelming choice to repeat in 2017 as the Eagles collected 10 out of a possible 14 first-place votes to top the poll with 189 points. California Baptist University picked up three first-place nods to finish second with 158 points, followed by the Trailblazers in third with 158 points. Azusa Pacific (one first-place vote) came in fourth in the poll with 151 points, while Point Loma (119 points) edged out Hawai’i Pacific (118 points) for fifth place and Dominican (105 points) rounded out the top half of the poll in seventh.

Junior Sid Brandon was DSU's lone representative on the conference preseason awards list as she was voted the 2017 PacWest Preseason Libero of the Year and was named to the all-PacWest team. Brandon (Bountiful, Utah/Bountiful HS) played in 25 matches a season ago and finished seventh in the PacWest in digs with 450 (4.95 dps), which was also the seventh-best single-season total in DSU’s NCAA era.

Dixie State, which has finished in the top three in the PacWest each of the last four years, including the program’s first conference crown in 2015, welcomes back two starters and 11 letterwinners for the 2017 campaign. Along with Brandon, senior right side hitter Brette (Anderson) Barney (Prescott, Arizona/Prescott HS) returns after she started in 16 of 24 matches played in 2016 and was fourth on the team in kills with 128 (1.86 kps) and sixth in total blocks with 44 (five solo, 0.56 bps).

The Trailblazers also return senior libero Jaclyn Condie (Cottonwood Heights, Utah/Brighton HS/Salt Lake CC; 232 digs/21 assists), junior middle blocker Kayla Chapman (Fullerton, California/Troy HS; 92 kills/51 blocks), junior RS Shannon Sorensen (Smithfield, Utah/Sky View HS; 40 kills/23 blocks) and sophomore setter Kara Moore (Lehi, Utah/Lehi HS; 48 assists), who all saw significant time last season. However, DSU will be without the services of senior RS/MB Malary Marshall (Hurricane, Utah/Hurricane HS/BYU-Hawaii; 128 kills/67 blocks), who will miss the 2017 season as a medical redshirt.

In all, DSU opened camp with 20 players, including six new freshmen in outside hitters Kaycee Adams (Salt Lake City/Syracuse HS) and Sydney Johnson (Spokane, Washington/Central Valley HS), along with RS Destiny Kaumatule (Honolulu/Kaiser HS), MB Ashtyn Lunt (Thatcher, Arizona/Thatcher HS), setter Jordyn Nelson (Phoenix, Arizona/Greenway HS) and libero Abbey Smith (Prescott, Arizona/Prescott HS).

The Trailblazers also brought in a pair of transfers in RS Savannah Ipsen (Boise, Idaho/Centennial HS) from Westminster College and OH Hannah Doonan (San Dimas, California/San Dimas HS) from Grossmont College.

DSU will host its annual alumni exhibition match this Saturday, Aug. 26, at noon, at the DSU Student Activities Center. Admission to the match is free and open to the public.

Dixie State officially opens the 2017 regular season with four matches in Seaside, California, at the Cal State Monterey Bay-hosted Spring Hills Suites Otter Classic on Sept. 1-2. DSU begins round-robin tournament play with a pair of matches vs. Metropolitan State University of Denver and CSUMB on Sept. 1, and wraps up the opening weekend with matches vs. Cal Poly Pomona and Northwest Nazarene on Sept. 2.

Steve Johnson is the Associate Athletic Director for Media Relations and Collegiate Licensing at Dixie State University. For more DSU Athletics news, please visit www.dixieathletics.com and follow Dixie State on Twitter at @DixieAthletics.