Tuesday was a pretty good news day for the Scorpion volleyball team.
UTB/TSC was voted as the No. 1 team in the newest Tachikara-NAIA Coaches' Top 25 Poll released Tuesday afternoon, marking the first time the Scorpions had been ranked No. 1 in any sport.
Also Tuesday afternoon, Scorpion outside hitter was named NAIA National Volleyball of the Week. Earlier in the day, Markovic was named Red River Athletic Conference Player of the Week.
"It's great to be recognized as the No. 1 team in the country," Scorpion head coach Todd Lowery said. "There seems to be a great deal of parity this year in NAIA volleyball and it should make for a exciting season."
In the preseason poll, four-time defending national champion Fresno Pacific University (Calif.) was ranked No. 1, Columbia College (Mo.) No. 2, Lee University (Tenn.) No. 3 and UTB/TSC No. 4.FPU lost its first three matches of the season and fell to No. 23 in the rankings with a 3-3 record. Columbia (3-1) lost to the Scorpions on its home court last week in Missouri, 3-1, and stayed in the No. 3 position. Lee (1-0) has played one match so far this year, and jumped to the No. 2 slot.
UTB/TSC received 21 out of 24 first-place votes and 682 points. Lee received the other three first-place votes and has 649 points. The Scorpions, 8-0 this year, have already beaten four ranked teams.
The Scorpions meet Lee at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Cleveland, Tenn. in the second of three matches at the Lee Invitational Tournament.
"So far this season, we have been pretty happy with our team's performance," Lowery said. "Of course it's only the second week. We have a long way to go to get into post- season form."
Markovic led the Scorpions to a 4-0 record at the Quality Inn Classic, hosted by Columbia (Mo.) Sept. 2-3. She notched 15 kills and six digs in the Scorpions' 3-1 victory over Columbia. In total, Markovic posted 53 kills, 28 digs and a .383 attack percentage in the Scorpions four matches. For her efforts, she was named the event's Most Valuable Player.
Markovic, a 5-11 sophomore from Subotica, Serbia, was a First-Team Tachikara-NAIA All-American last season as a freshman.