The Lady Hawks enter the 2017 season as the GSC coaches’ pick to finish third; while, a breakout season last year for Tiffani Estep
earned the senior a preseason all- GSC selection.
Shorter, who finished 22-7 with a 17-3 conference mark last year, looks to continue the success they’ve seen since joining NCAA DII and the GSC in 2014. During that span, the team has won two regular season titles, including last season when they tied with UWF for the top spot entering the conference tournament. While, also looking to maintain their dominant play at home, bringing with them into 2017 a 15-game unbeaten mark at the Winthrop-King Centre – 11-0 in 2016.
Estep finished her junior campaign first on the team in blocks with 111 (28 solo, 83 assisted), and second in kills with 261. Earning a first team All-GSC nod for the first time in her career.
Along with Estep, returning for Shorter are three of the top four attackers from last season, in Madeline Munroe (218 kills), Kelsi Jones (146 kills). While, Cheyenne McLemore returns to anchor the back row for the Lady Hawks, posting a team high 439 digs in 2016.
Notably missing from the lineup in 2017 will be three-time first team All-GSC selection, Elizabeth Dowd, who led the team in kills with 318, was second in digs (405) and aces (26), and fourth in blocks with 49 last year. As well as, Cheyenne Frady who was first on the team and third in the GSC in service aces with 42 in 2016, with 664 assists.
North Alabama was the preseason favorite to finish first, receiving nine of the possible 13 first place votes, for 141 points. While, West Florida came in second with 136 points, including the remaining four first place votes. Shorter rounded out the top three with 118 total points, ahead of Valdosta State in fourth with 100 points.
The Lady Hawks officially open the season September 1 when they travel to Charlotte, N.C. to take part in the annual Queens University Fall Invitational. Opening the first day of competition against Francis Marion at 3:00 PM, before taking on Queens at 7:30 PM. Saturday’s action will feature Wingate at noon and California of Pennsylvania at 4:00 PM.
Southern Wesleyan will look to snap the home streak on September 6, when they visit the Winthrop-King Centre at 7:00 PM.
Shorter opens conference play on the road on September 19 at Alabama Huntsville, before a weekend clash at Union and Christian Brothers on September 22 and 23, respectively.