The 2003 MIAA Fall Sports Preseason Coaches
Polls Are Released
Last week, the preseason coaches polls were released for the MIAA fall sports. The Bulldogs were picked as the favorites in volleyball and women's soccer, were picked second in men's cross country, fourth in women's cross country and tied for sixth in football.
Truman received 36 points in the football poll, tying with Washburn. Northwest Missouri received six first-place votes and 76 points as they just edged out Pittsburg State as the team to beat. The Gorillas received the other four first-place votes and had 74 points. The Bulldogs will likely be led offensively by junior Jake Czeschin at quarterback. Defensively, eight starters return led by senior defensive back Derek Kent and senior linebacker Tameem Yehyawi. (complete football poll in .pdf format)
The volleyball squad has been picked as the MIAA favorite for the third straight year. Truman received six of the nine first-place votes and had a total of 62 points. Central Missouri was picked second with 55 points and Washburn was third with 51. Last year's NCAA runnerups will be led by their lone four-year senior, setter Rachael Shedd, and several talented hitters, including junior Jessica Sears, a member of the 2002 South Central and Elite Eight all-tournament teams. (complete volleyball poll in .pdf format)
Truman women's soccer team is looking for its fifth straight MIAA title since the sport became sponsored by the conference in 1999. They were favored in a close poll as Truman received three first-place votes and 45 points, Central Missouri had three first-place votes and 43 points and Southwest Baptist had two first-place votes and 40 points. Junior forward Sara Murray, a first-team all-region selection, will lead the way for the Bulldogs this year. (complete women's soccer poll in .pdf format)
In cross country, the Bulldogs men's team received three first-place votes and were second in the poll with 43 points, three behind Missouri Southern. The men's team will be led by a pair of returning all-conference runners, senior Alan Heincker and junior Andy Person. On the women's side, the Bulldogs received 30 points, good for fourth. They will be led by senior Leah Zidon, last year's team leader in five of the six races. Pittsburg State is the favorite after receiving five first-place votes and 47 points. The 2003 cross country championships will be held in Kirksville on Oct. 25. (complete cross country polls in .pdf format)