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Lady Railsplitters tabbed No. 5 in NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings for third-consecutive week

INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- The Lincoln Memorial University volleyball team was tabbed No. 5 in the NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings for the third-consecutive week, NCAA officials announced late Wednesday afternoon.

With regular-season play in the books, the Lady Railsplitters capped that portion of the 2012 schedule with a 20-12 overall record and a 12-6 mark in the South Atlantic Conference, earning the No. 3 seed for the 2012 Food Lion SAC Volleyball Tournament. By virtue of that seeding, the Lady Railsplitters drew No. 6 Catawba College for the opening round of the league tournament. LMU swept the season series over the Indians.

The Lady Railsplitters have been led the season by senior middle blocker Blaire Fowler, who was named All-South Atlantic Conference First Team earlier this afternoon. She has paced Lincoln Memorial with 429 kills for an average of 3.64 per set. She ranks second in the conference in total kills and third in kills per set this season.

LMU has also benefited from the elevated performances of several key pin players. That group has been led the season by the efforts of senior outside hitter Jennifer Drumm, as she ranks second on the team with 270 kills for an average of 2.33 per frame. On the right side, junior Kaitlin Walton has tallied 219 kills, good for 1.86 per set. Allison Beavers (1.78 kills/set), Jazzy Oates (1.39 kills/set) and Casey Mense (1.36 kills/set) have also flourished in the offensive system for the Lady Railsplitters.

Brittany Pugh has directed the offense with a team-leading 5.68 assists per set and 670 total assists. Along with her role as an attacker, Beavers has dished out 595 assists, good for an average of 5.13 per frame.

Casey Mense, who collected SAC All-Freshman Team distinctions this afternoon, leads the Lady Railsplitters defensively at 3.22 digs per set. She also ranks second on the team in total digs with 341.

Armstrong Atlantic jumped Wingate University to grab the No. 1 spot in this week's NCAA Division II Southeast Region rankings. Armstrong capped the regular season with a 29-5 mark, while the Bulldogs sit at No. 2 with a 26-2 record.

No. 3 Flagler (19-9) and No. 4 Tusculum (20-6) round out the top-five in the rankings along with Lincoln Memorial at No. 5.

A pair of SAC teams hold the next two spots with Lenoir-Rhyne sitting in the sixth spot and Newberry grabbing No. 7. Francis Marion crept into the top-eight at 18-11 on the season.

The Lady Railsplitters open play in the 2012 Food Lion SAC Volleyball Tournament on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. in Brevard, North Carolina. LMU is set to square off against Catawba College with a spot in Saturday's semifinal match on the line.

{NCAA Division II Southeast Region Rankings}
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