South Carolina Volleyball Picked to Finish Fifth in SEC East by Coaches
Aug. 26, 2008
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Southeastern Conference coaches have picked the Carolina Gamecocks to finish fifth in the league's Eastern Division, as the annual preseason poll was released today.
The eighth-ranked Florida Gators were selected to win the 2008 Southeastern Conference volleyball title in a preseason vote by the league's 11 coaches. The Gators have claimed 17 consecutive SEC titles, which ties the NCAA record for consecutive conference title wins. Coming off a 29-3 season and their 16th NCAA regional semifinal appearance in 17 years, the Gators also hold the nation's longest stretch of 25-win seasons with 17 straight. Florida, who also has the nation's No. 1 recruiting class this season, according to PrepVolleyball.com, received seven votes, while the LSU Tigers earned three, and the Kentucky Wildcats snagged one.
The Gators were voted to win the Eastern Division with 11 total points, followed by Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina. Florida finished with a conference record of 19-1 and has never lost more than one league match during head coach Mary Wise's 17-year tenure. After recording their first 20-win season since 1993, the Wildcats also received a first-place vote for the division title and is picked to finish second with 18 points, and the Lady Vols are picked third with 33 points. The Georgia Bulldogs and the South Carolina Gamecocks round out the East.
LSU was unanimously predicted to win the West by receiving all 10 first-place votes. The Tigers, led by head coach Fran Flory, also received three first-place votes for the league title. The Mississippi Rebels were selected to finish second with 21 points, and the Alabama Crimson Tide is predicted to place third with 27 points. Arkansas and Auburn are picked to finish fourth and fifth, respectively, while the Mississippi State Bulldogs round out the poll in sixth-place.
Points were compiled on a 1-2-3-4-5-6 basis for the Western Division and 1-2-3-4-5 for the Eastern Division. Each coach was not allowed to vote for his or her own team and each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
South Carolina opens play in the ASU Sheraton Classic in Tempe, Ariz., on Friday at 3 p.m. EDT against the host Arizona State Sun Devils.
2008 SEC Preseason Coaches' Poll
SEC Champion: Florida (7), LSU (3), Kentucky (1)