NEWPORT NEWS, Va.—Dayton has been voted the preseason volleyball favorite in the 2017 Atlantic 10 Conference volleyball poll, which was announced Thursday ahead of the start of the season Friday.
The Flyers posted a perfect conference regular season record in 2016 at 14-0 and won the 2016 Atlantic 10 Championship, defeating Saint Louis in the title match. Led by three-time setter of the year, Jane Emmenecker, returning libero of the year, Margo Wolf, and four-time A-10 Coach of the Year Tim Horsmon, Dayton earned nine first-place votes in the poll and tallied 99 points. The Flyers, who were 30-2 overall last year, are looking for their 12th Atlantic 10 title and their eighth in the last nine years.
VCU finished second in the preseason poll with 84 points, earning one first-place vote. The Rams advanced to the semifinals of the 2016 A-10 Championship taking top-seeded Dayton to five sets. The Rams finished the season with a record of 8-6 in league play and 19-14 overall.
Saint Louis finished third in the voting with 77 points. The Billikens were the runners up in the 2016 A-10 Championship falling in five sets. SLU was 11-3 in league play and 18-14 overall in 2016.
Rhode Island was voted fourth in the poll with 69 points, followed by Duquesne in fifth with 67 points. George Washington recorded 45 points for sixth place and Davidson is ranked seventh in the poll with 38 points. Fordham (36), La Salle (19) and George Mason (16) rounded out the poll, which was voted on by the league’s 10 head volleyball coaches.
The 2017 campaign begins Friday with Atlantic 10 teams competing in season-opening tournaments. The 2017 Atlantic 10 Volleyball Championship will be played at Duquesne’s A.J. Palumbo Center Nov. 17-19.
2017 Atlantic 10 Volleyball Preseason Poll
(number in parenthesis indicates first-place votes)
Dayton (9) - 99
VCU (1) - 84
Saint Louis - 77
Rhode Island - 69
Duquesne - 67
George Washington - 45
Davidson - 38
Fordham - 36
La Salle - 19
George Mason - 16