Macy Pope

Catawba Valley Community College captain Macy Pope sets to teammate Sage Harrington during a recent practice.

The Catawba Valley Community College volleyball team has been ranked fifth among DII schools in the nation by the National Junior College Athletic Association, which released its preseason poll on Monday.

The fifth-place ranking for the Red Hawks is their second-highest preseason ranking in program history — only bested by their fourth-place ranking entering the 2017-18 season.

“We are so honored for our team to be ranked in the top five preseason poll,” said CVCC head volleyball coach Shannon Hudson. “It’s nice for our sophomores to receive the recognition and acknowledgment of their successes last year. We are excited for the season to begin and can’t wait to ‘Embrace the Challenge.’”

Catawba Valley is coming off one of its most successful seasons in program history last fall. The Red Hawks won 36 matches, including their eighth district championship and three wins at the NJCAA National Tournament in Charleston, West Virginia, for the first time in program history.

The CVCC volleyball program also received numerous individual accolades, including three NJCAA National Players of the Week and the program's fifth All-American in freshman middle hitter Emma Clark, who was also named Region X Player of the Year.

The American Volleyball Coaches Association also honored head coach Shannon Hudson with the Two-Year College Northeast-Southeast Region Coach of the Year Award, and Red Hawks’ assistant coach Mark Wimberley was named the AVCA National Assistant Coach of the Year for Two-Year Colleges.

As a tune up for its regular season, the Catawba Valley Community College volleyball team hosts a quad preseason scrimmage on Saturday at the Tarlton Complex.

The Red Hawks compete against four schools during the scrimmage — Lenoir-Rhyne (8 a.m.), Catawba College (9:30 a.m.), Lees-McRae (1 p.m.) and Belmont Abbey (2:30 p.m.).

The CVCC volleyball team officially kicks off its 2019 regular season on Tuesday, Aug. 27, with a home match against Southwest Virginia Community College. Match time is set for 6:30 p.m.

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