Aug. 15, 2012
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Defending Atlantic 10 conference volleyball champion Dayton has been unanimously selected as the 2012 Atlantic 10 preseason favorite in a vote conducted among the league's 12 head coaches. Xavier was picked to finish second, garnering 10 second-place votes in the poll, which was released Monday.
The Flyers (25-7, 14-1 Atlantic 10) won both the 2011 regular season and the A-10 Championship, their third straight title and fourth in the last five years. Led by two-time A-10 Coach of the Year Kelly Sheffield UD is an experienced team led by seniors Rachel Krabacher, the 2011 league Player of the Year and Samantha Selsky, last year's A-10 Setter of the Year. The Flyers garnered all 12 first-place votes for a point total of 144 in the poll.
Xavier garnered 129 points and 10 of the possible 12 second-place votes. The Musketeers finished second in the A-10 regular season last year with an 11-4 record while securing a 20-11 overall mark. Led by junior All-Conference selections Alex Smith and Sarah Brown, XU made a run to the A-10 Championship finals in 2011.
Saint Louis, which has won two A-10 titles since 2006, was picked to finish third. The Billikens were 15-12 overall last season and 10-5 in league play. SLU picked up 109 points in the poll. Just behind Saint Louis in fourth is George Washington with 104 points. The Colonials were 9-6 in A-10 play and were one of three 20-win teams with a 20-10 overall mark.
Duquesne, the 2012 A-10 Championship host and newcomers VCU and Butler were chosen to finish fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Duquesne was fifth last year with a 19-13 overall mark and 8-7 in conference play. The Dukes tallied 97 points in the poll voting. VCU was picked sixth with 78 points and Butler seventh with 74 points. Both VCU and Butler will be playing in their first season in the Atlantic 10.
Rhode Island was eighth with 63 points and Charlotte ninth with 57 points. Fordham (34), Temple (31) and La Salle (16) rounded out the poll.
2012 Atlantic 10 Preseason Poll
Team (2011 Overall; Conference)
|Dayton (25-7; 14-1)
|Xavier (20-11; 11-4)
|Saint Louis (25-12; 10-5)
|George Washington (20-10; 9-6)
|Duquesne (19-13; 8-7)
|VCU (17-17; 8-6 CAA)
|Butler (16-14; 11-5 Horizon)
|Rhode Island (15-15; 7-8)
|Charlotte (13-14; 7-8)
|Fordham (7-23; 4-11)
|Temple (8-20; 4-11)
|La Salle (6-27; 1-14)