Dorsey, Gebel Earn Preseason All-SoCon Honors
By Steven Grandy
Western Carolina junior Destinee Dorsey and fifth-year senior Merry Gebel earned preseason All-Southern Conference honors as the league announced its preseason awards on Wednesday afternoon. WCU was one of three SoCon programs to put two players on the nine-member all-conference team.
Dorsey, the 2020-21 Libero of the Year, led the league with a 5.10 digs per set average as a sophomore to put her 23rd nationally. The Mobile, Ala., native surpassed the 20-dig mark in 13 matches and tallied double-digit digs in all but one match in 2021. Dorsey was a two-time SoCon Defensive Player of the Week last season to run her career tally to five over the past two years, and was also tabbed as the SoCon Defensive Player of the Month for September 2021.
Gebel, a first-team all-conference player in 2020-21 and a second-team selection last fall, earned her third straight preseason honor. The Wildwood, Mo., native led the Catamounts with 17 double-doubles in 2021 and ranked fourth in the SoCon with 3.53 kills per set. Gebel became the 12th player in program history to surpass the 1,000-career digs and 1,000-career kills milestone last season.
Joining Dorsey and Gebel on the preseason squad were Samford’s Lauren Deaton and Kenya McQuirter, Mercer’s Annie Karle, The Citadel’s Ali Ruffin, UNCG’s Gabriela McHugh, and Wofford’s Sarah Barham and Emily Hodsdon.
Wofford was selected as the preseason favorite by the league’s coaches with 57 points and three first-place votes, edging out defending regular-season champion Samford by one point as the Bulldogs also earned three first-place votes. The top four positions in the preseason predictions were separated by just 17 total points. The Catamounts were picked to finish in fifth place.
WCU hosts Anderson in an exhibition match on Saturday (Aug. 20) at 6 p.m. on Ingles Court at the Ramsey Center.
Keep track of everything related to Catamount volleyball and WCU Athletics through its social media outlets on Facebook (fb.com/catamountsports), Instagram (@wcu_catamounts, @catamountvb), and Twitter (@catamounts, @catamountvb).
2022 Southern Conference Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Wofford (3)
2. Samford (3)
3. ETSU (2)
4. Mercer (1)
5. Western Carolina
7. The Citadel
() denotes first-place votes 2022 Southern Conference Volleyball Preseason All-Conference Team Ali Ruffin, The Citadel, So., OH Annie Karle, Mercer, Gr., OH Gabriela McHugh, UNCG, Sr., S Lauren Deaton, Samford, Gr., OH Kenya McQuirter, Samford, R-Jr., OH Destinee Dorsey, Western Carolina, Jr., LIB Merry Gebel, Western Carolina, 5th Yr, OH Sarah Barham, Wofford, Jr., MB Emily Hodsdon, Wofford, Jr., S