Lions picked second in volleyball and soccer

(Courtesy: RoarLions.com)

FLORENCE — North Alabama’s soccer and volleyball teams are looking up at only one school in the preseason coaches’ picks.

West Florida is that team.

North Alabama, coming off a breakout season in soccer, was picked to finish second behind the Argos in the preseason poll.

The same was true in volleyball, where UNA was picked second behind the Argos in the East

Division.

Graham Winkworth’s soccer team had the best season in school history in 2009, finishing 19-4-1 while reaching the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Three of the losses were against West Florida, including one in the postseason.

The Lions grabbed two first-place votes and with 42 points, were only six points behind West Florida in the coaches’ poll.

Christian Brothers was picked third and Harding fourth.

North Alabama was well represented on the preseason All-GSC team with five of 11 players. Among UNA’s honorees are GSC Player of the Year Chloe Roberts, Alexandra McLay, Julia Osmond, Nikki Brown and Jo Chubb.

West Florida’s only returning starter in national player of the year Shakira Duncan.

In volleyball, reigning GSC champ West Florida notched five first-place votes to win the East. UNA was second with one first-place vote and four first-place votes.

The Argos collected 11 of 13 votes to repeat as GSC champion. UNA and Harding each received one vote.

UNA’s Sarah Roberts, a middle blocker, was named to the preseason All-GSC team.

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