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Following an incredible run in 2013, the St. Catharine College Patriots volleyball team looks to build on their foundation of success in 2014.
SCC completed last season with one of the best records in school history with a 21-13 record overall and a 12-8 mark in the Mid-South Conference.
Despite their loss in the conference tournament semifinals to top-seeded Lindsey Wilson College, the eventual champion of the event, the Patriots ended their season on a high note.
The Patriots made school history in the MSC tournament as they defeated Shawnee State in the first round 3-0 to take them to the semifinals, the deepest run since joining the MSC in 2008.
The Patriots’ tournament and regular-season success did not go unnoticed, as the Patriot net minders had three players named to all-conference rosters.
Junior Rebecca Just was named to the second team with a total of 269 kills and 272 digs.
Allie Southard received All Mid-South Conference First Team honors, having 311 kills and 142 blocks, good for 13th in the nation. Joining Southard on the first team roster was Shauna Stone with her 279 kills and 83 blocks on the season.
In addition to their conference recognitions, both Southard and Stone received American Volleyball Coaches Association All Region Team roster slots, making them to the first Patriots to receive the honor.
Awards for the Lady Patriots did not stop with the players, as head coach Jason McDannold received the Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year award.
McDannold helped lead the Patriots to their highest conference win total, 12, in just his first year at the helm.
“I like to use a positive approach that is full of enthusiasm to coach this team,” McDannold said. “Our goal here is to build a championship attitude that will lead to national recognition and rankings in the very near future.”
The Patriots 2013 success continues to gain recognition as they earned a third place ranking in the Preseason Mid-South Conference Volleyball Coaches Poll.
The third-place ranking is the highest for the Patriots since their induction in the conference.
McDannold has hit the recruiting trail running to back up his outstanding preseason ranking, bringing in five top recruits that will help St. Catharine in its quest for conference supremacy.
Lexington native Jordan Strickland will join the Patriots in the fall to fill the hole in the setter position after having played two years at Paris Junior College in Texas.
Lindsey Monson will step into the Patriots’ roster after spending her past two seasons at Central Lakes College, helping the team to a 25-2 record in 2013.
Mid-Continent University transfer and Caldwell County native Jesse Stone will join the Patriots looking to follow in her sister Casey Stone’s footsteps.
Casey, a senior, has been a four-year standout for the team and a key contributor the Patriots’ turnaround. In addition to their college transfers (including another Paris Junior College transfer Andrea Hurt), the Patriots also dove into the high school ranks to fill slots with Kentucky standouts; Lincoln County High School senior Arienne Stephens will also bring her talents to a Patriot team looking to build for the future.
The Patriots will hit the hardwood next week on Aug. 19 when they travel to Centre College in order to get set for a grueling Mid-South Conference schedule and their quest for an MSC crown.