SWAC-LogoMississippi Valley State’s Moed and Alabama A&M’s Corneille clinch top honors; Alabama A&M, Grambling State predicted divisional winners

BIRMINGHAM – The Southwestern Athletic Conference announced its 2009 preseason volleyball honors Thursday, with Mississippi Valley State’s Maura Moed and Alabama A&M’s Rose Corneille claiming top honors. The teams were voted on by the schools’ coaches and sports information departments.

Moed – a 5-foot-9 junior middle blocker – has been named the 2009 Preseason Offensive Player of the Year. Moed led the conference in kills last season, averaging 2.84 per set. The San Antonio, TX native also ranked second in the SWAC in points (3.62 per set) and fourth in blocks (0.78 per set). She was garnered with player of the week honors four times in 2008 and helped guide her MVSU team to a number one seed in the Eastern division for the Conference tournament. For her efforts, Moed was named to the 2008 SWAC All-Conference first-team at the end of the season.

For the second consecutive year, Corneille – a 5-foot-4 junior defensive specialist – has been selected the Preseason Defensive Player of the Year. In 2008, Corneille ranked first on her team and fourth in the SWAC with a 3.13 digs per set average. Hailing from Dacula, GA, Corneille also recorded 33 assists and 21 service aces while helping her Lady Bulldogs squad capture a second consecutive conference tournament title.

In the predicted order of finish, Alabama A&M and Grambling State have been selected to win their respective divisions for the second year in a row. The two teams met in last year’s conference tournament championship game with the Lady Bulldogs emerging the victors.

In the Western division, Grambling State collected 13 first-place votes en route to 88 voting points. Prairie View A&M (four first-place votes) was second with 75 points while Southern (one first-place vote) was third with 52 points. Texas Southern (one first-place vote) registered 43 points and Arkansas-Pine Bluff tallied 27 to round out the Western division.

In the Eastern division, Alabama A&M was chosen first with 14 first-place votes as it received 90 points. Jackson State (one first-place vote) accumulated 65 points for second place and narrowly edged the 2008 Eastern division regular season champions Mississippi Valley State (four first-place votes), who registered 64 points. Alabama State (42 pts) and Alcorn State (24 pts) close out the Eastern divisional list.

Alabama A&M led the way with five players chosen for preseason honors – four on first team. Jackson State had three representatives on the preseason team, while Mississippi Valley State had two selections. Alabama State, Grambling State and Prairie View A&M each had one player on the preseason squad.

Predicted Order of Finish
(first-place votes in parentheses)

Western Division
Grambling State (13) 88 pts
Prairie View A&M (4) 75
Southern (1) 52
Texas Southern (1) 43
Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff 27

Eastern Division
Alabama A&M (14) 90 pts
Jackson State (1) 65 pts
Mississippi Valley State (4) 64
Alabama State 42
Alcorn State 24

2009 SWAC Preseason All-Conference Selections
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year ht cl hometown
MB Maura Moed Mississippi Valley State 5-9 Jr. San Antonio, TX

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
DS Rose Corneille Alabama A&M 5-4 Jr. Dacula, GA
First-Team ht cl hometown
MB Jessica Holt Alabama State 5-7 Sr. Montgomery, AL
MB Maura Moed Mississippi Valley State 5-9 So. San Antonio, TX
OH Madinah Abdullah Alabama A&M 5-8 Sr. Homewood, AL
OH Karensa Beckford Alabama A&M 6-0 So. St. Anne Bay, Jamaica
OH Brittany Larkin Jackson State 5-10 Jr. Little Rock, AR
DS Rose Corneille Alabama A&M 5-4 Jr. Dacula, GA
S Natalie Rodriguez Alabama A&M 5-7 Sr. Caguas, Puerto Rico

Second Team
MH Courtney Jenkins Alabama A&M 5-10 Jr. Marietta, GA
MB Shaun Williams Prairie View A&M 5-9 Sr. Longview, TX
OH Kayla Williams Grambling State 5-10 Sr. Toronto, Canada
OH Kantessa Bryant Mississippi Valley State 5-8 Sr. Dallas, TX
OH Cheri Lindsay Prairie View A&M 5-8 Jr. Denver, CO
DS Charne Gabriel Jackson State 5-7 Sr. Dallas, TX
S LaToya Clark Jackson State 5-4 So. Tallahassee, FL


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