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McCall Denny
McCall Denny posted a team-high 12 kills and 11 digs for the Mountaineers.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Volleyball Picked Second in East Division, Two Earn Preseason All-Conference

App State senior McCall Denny and sophomore Maya Winterhoff have earned Preseason All-Conference nods and the Mountaineers were picked second in the East Division in the 2023 Sun Belt Preseason Volleyball Coaches Poll, the league announced Tuesday.

Denny and Winterhoff had both earned Second-Team All-SBC honors last season, in addition to Winterhoff earning the program’s first SBC Freshman of the Year title. Both started all 28 matches and played all 114 sets last fall.

Denny, now a fifth-year senior, led the team in kills last season, tallying 347. She was also second on the team in digs (259) and service aces (34). The High Point, N.C. native, who is a six-rotation player, hit double-digit kills in 23 of 28 matches she appeared in and posted a career high 19 digs and season high 20 kills against Georgia Southern on Nov. 4. In addition to all-conference honors, Denny earned CSC Academic All-District accolades.

During the 2022 campaign, Winterhoff led the team in service aces (39) and blocks (102). She tallied 253 kills as a freshman, recording a career high 16 kills against Charleston Southern. The Charlottesville, Va. native ranked third for hitting percentage (.376) on the season and sixth (.331) in league play in the SBC rankings. She also was ranked consistently in the NCAA throughout the regular season.

In the SBC Preseason Volleyball Coaches Poll, App State was picked second in the East Division with 70 votes and was one of two teams in the division to earn first place votes.

App State went 18-10 (11-5 SBC) during the 2022 season. From Oct. 6 to Nov. 11, the Black and Gold won 11 of 12 of its matches, which marked the best stretch of play for the program since a program-record-tying 16 straight wins in 2015. The Mountaineers totaled six sweeps in addition to seven five-set victories last fall.

The Mountaineers return 15 of 17 players from last season and have added five freshmen to their ranks. App State will host two tournaments and eight Sun Belt matches at the Holmes Convocation Center this season, starting with the Mountaineer Classic on Aug. 25-26. Season tickets are on sale now.

2023 Sun Belt Preseason Volleyball Coaches Poll
East Division
1. James Madison – 94 (13)
2. App State – 70 (1)
3. Coastal Carolina – 69
4. Georgia Southern – 55
5. Old Dominion – 54
6. Marshall – 29
7. Georgia State – 21

West Division
1. South Alabama – 93 (10)
2. Texas State – 77 (3)
3. Troy – 71
4. Southern Miss – 51
5. Louisiana – 47
6. Arkansas State – 37 (1)
7. ULM – 16

2023 Sun Belt Conference Volleyball Preseason Awards
Preseason Offensive Player of the Year
Miëtte Veldman, James Madison

Preseason Defensive Player of the Year
Sophie Davis, James Madison

Preseason Setter of the Year
Kailey Keeble, South Alabama

Preseason Libero of the Year
Megan Harris, Southern Miss

Preseason All-Sun Belt
McCall Denny, App State
Maya Winterhoff, App State
Sophie Davis, James Madison
Caroline Dozier, James Madison
Miëtte Veldman, James Madison
Myah Conway, Old Dominion
Niki Capizzi, South Alabama
Kailey Keeble, South Alabama
Hannah Maddux, South Alabama
Cara Atkinson, Southern Miss
Mia Wesley, Southern Miss
Tori Hester, Troy