FRISCO — A league-leading three SFA players — senior middle blocker Danae Daron, senior setter Ann Hollas and junior defensive specialist Maddie Miller — saw their names appear on the 2019 Preseason All-Southland Conference volleyball teams, which were revealed by the league office Thursday morning.
Daron and Hollas each earned a spot on the Preseason All-Southland Conference First Team while Miller appeared on the Preseason All-Southland Conference Second Team. SFA, the two-time defending Southland Conference champion, was the only program in the 13-team league to place more than one individual on the Preseason All-Southland First Team.
Few players in the nation put up the numbers Daron did in a 2018 season that saw the Crosby product grab both an All-Southland Conference First Team spot as well as an AVCA All-Southwest Region Honorable Mention citation. A strong presence both offensively and defensively, Daron led the Southland while ranking 71st nationally with an attack percentage of .347 and parlayed that figure into 2.33 kills per set. Defensively she was the focal point of one of college volleyball’s strongest front rows and wrapped up the season with a blocks per set average of 1.25 which ranked 42nd nationally and third in the Southland.
Daron’s 143 total rejections were the second-most in the Southland and the 35th-most nationally and a number of them came over a two-match stretch against Sam Houston State and Abilene Christian where she averaged 2.50 per set. Because of that, she was named the SportsImports/AVCA NCAA Division I National Player of the Week on Nov. 7. It marked the first time in program history that an SFA player earned that honor from the AVCA and just the third time in history that a Southland Conference player did so.
As she enters her final season in a Ladyjack uniform, Hollas has already secured two of the Southland Conference’s six major awards (Freshman of the Year in 2016 and Setter of the Year in 2018) and by running one of NCAA Division I volleyball’s most efficient offenses a season ago claimed a spot on the All-Southland Conference First Team. An excellent all-around player, the product of Longview, averaged 1.46 kills, a team-leading 6.34 assists, 0.23 service aces 2.67 digs and 0.73 blocks per set. As the team’s primary setter, Hollas helped SFA hit .239 as a team.
Twice in 2018 Hollas posted a triple double, the latest of which came in a Southland Conference Tournament quarterfinal clash against eighth-seeded Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
Though the 2019 season marks Miller’s first in an SFA uniform after spending her first two collegiate campaigns sporting Incarnate Word colors, but through her two seasons in the Alamo City the Lorena, Texas, product stood out as one of the league’s premier back row defenders. While spending the first half of her collegiate career at Incarnate Word, Miller scooped up a total of 826 digs and finished among the top eight player in the Southland in digs per set each year.
Daron, Hollas, Miller and the rest of the Ladyjacks are currently in the midst of their preseason workouts as they prepare to make a run at a third consecutive Southland Conference regular season crown. Before beginning their 2019 campaign at the SMU Doubletree Invitational in Dallas on the weekend of August 30-31, the Ladyjacks will host Tulane for an exhibition match at 1 p.m. inside Shelton Gym on Saturday, Aug. 24.