The Phoenix dropped a 3-2 decision to Campbellsville in the quarterfinals of the Mid-South Conference Championships last season, finishing with an overall record of 15-17 and a conference mark of 7-9.
Head coach Kathy Slaughter begins her third season with 10 returning letter winners and three starters while adding 12 newcomers to the team.
The Phoenix must replace second team All-Mid-South Conference performer Maci Lerno, who ranked 10th in the nation in kills per game (4.141) and 17th in total kills (505) in 2015 and combined for 359 kills and 364 digs last season. She is now the head coach at Friendship Christian.
Second team All-Mid-South Conference honoree Amanda Worrell returns for her final campaign after recording 292 kills, registering 14 matches with double-figure kills last year. Taylor Kasper ranked first on the team last season in digs, collecting 410 and posting a season-high 32 against Webber International.
Cumberland’s first match will take place Aug. 18 against Northwestern Ohio at the Lindsey Wilson Classic in Columbia, Ky. The Phoenix will open the home schedule Sept. 12 against Lindsey Wilson at 7 p.m.
Defending conference regular season champions Lindsey Wilson received 49 total points and seven first-place votes from the coaches for first place in the preseason poll. Georgetown College was second with 41 points and one first-place vote.
Campbellsville finished third with 35 points, followed by the University of the Cumberlands with 31. Cumberland and Life tied for fifth with 24 points and Shawnee State and Pikeville rounded out the poll.