Cove’s Canete selected to Preseason All-Sun Belt Team

By TJ MAXWELLCove Leader-Press ARLINGTON – Former  Cove volleyball standout, Qiana Canete has made a huge impact on her University of Texas at Arlington Lady Mustangs’ squad and that impact was recognized earlier in the week with a selection to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Team. “I feel I’m really blessed,” Canete said about the honor in an interview on the Mavericks website. “I’m going to keep working hard and do what I need to do for my team this year.”Canete, a sophomore, was the only UTA player named to the list. “I always like it if other coaches in the league respect your players,” head coach Diane Seymour said. “That’s a good sign and a good sign for somebody young like her. I think it will help her set some goals for herself and what she wants to accomplish this year.It was probably overwhelming to play all the time and do all the things she did for us. I think now she realizes she has some ownership on this team and what our success will be runs a lot through her.” A lot ran through Canete last year as  ell. She led UTA with 376 kills and had a second-best 480 digs as the Mavericks’ only six-rotation player. She also notched a team-high 18 double-doubles, the most of any freshman in the entire conference. She finished the 2014 campaign with three Sun Belt Freshman of the Week honors and a Sun Belt All-Conference secondteam nod. Canete led the team to their best season in over a decade, where it saw the highest winning percentage since 2004 and the largest number of wins since 2006. That announcement was  shortly followed by the releaseof the Preseason Coaches’ Poll that predicted UT Arlington would finish fifth in the Sun Belt Conference.   “I’m not surprised,” Seymour said. “Especially if you think about the fact that we’ve lost four significant starters from last year. It’s a good place to be. We can always move up and that’s what  our intentions are this year.”Canete agreed.“It was really encouraging to see that,” she said about the ranking. “I wished we  would have finished higher. We will this year. I know we will.” The Mavericks were picked fourth last season and proved the projection with a 25-9 overall record and 14-6 in conference play, but fell to eventual champions Arkansas-   Little Rock in the second ound of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament. Little Rock earned six first place votes and 113 points in the poll with Texas State close behind at four first place votes and 109 points. Arkansas State, who was predicted eighth in 2014, was picked third with 97 votes, followed by Appalachian State with 88. UT Arlington sat fifth in the coaches’ poll  with 76 points. The Mavericks will open the 2015 slate on Aug. 28 at 7 p.m. against Campbell as part of the Maverick Classic   

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