XULA picked 1st in conference volleyball; Tomasoni is preseason All-GCAC

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NEW ORLEANS — Xavier University of Louisiana has been picked to repeat as Gulf Coast Athletic Conference volleyball champion, and the Gold Nuggets’ Juliana Tomasoni is on the preseason All-GCAC team.

The conference’s seven head coaches made the selections, which the GCAC announced Monday.

XULA, which seeks sixth consecutive GCAC regular-season and tournament championships, received 5-of-7 first-place votes and 47 points in the poll. SUNO is second with 42 points, and Dillard is third with 32. SUNO and Dillard received one first-place vote apiece.

The Gold Nuggets have won 72 of their last 73 matches against GCAC opponents. The lone loss was in five sets last year at SUNO, which earned a shared of the 2015 regular-season title
Tomasoni, a junior outside hitter/defensive specialist from Nova Trento, Brazil, and a former Northeastern Oklahoma A&M standout, was one of seven named preseason All-GCAC. In her first season at XULA, Tomasoni ranks second in the GCAC with 4.18 digs per set, third with a .237 hitting percentage and fourth with 3.0 kills per set.

After opening the season with out-of-state tournaments each of the past two weekends, XULA (1-7) will play five times this week in its home city. The Gold Nuggets will visit Loyola Tuesday for matches at 5 p.m. against St. Thomas (Texas) and 7 p.m. against Loyola, then play host to the second annual Big Easy Blastoff at the Convocation Center. XULA will play Friday at 11 a.m. against Pikeville and 5 p.m. against William Carey and Saturday against Southwest (N.M.) at 11 a.m.

GCAC Preseason Voting
Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
Kaylin Davison Edward Waters OH 5-9 Jr. Columbus, Ohio
Carla Novaes Talladega OH 6-1 Sr. Sao Paulo, Brazil
Shelby Stewart Dillard OH 6-0 Jr. Houston, Texas
Marija Stojijkovic SUNO S 5-8 So. Belgrade, Serbia
Juliana Tomasoni Xavier OH/DS 5-9 Jr. Nova Trento, Brazil
Autumn Trimble Philander Smith RS 6-2 Jr. Mobile, Ala.
Cailyn Ware Dillard OH 5-7 Sr. Pearland, Texas
Preseason Player of the Year:  Carla Novaes, Talladega


Order of Finish  (first-place votes in parentheses)
Rank School Points
1 Xavier (5) 47
2 SUNO (1) 42
3 Dillard (1) 32
4 Philander Smith 27
5 Tougaloo 20
6-tie Edward Waters 14
6-tie Talladega 14
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Ed Cassiere

Ed Cassiere

Sports Information Director, Xavier University of Louisiana

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