SPARTANBURG, S.C. – The Southern Conference has announced its 2012 volleyball preseason poll and all-conference team. Elon volleyball was picked to finish third in the North Division by the league’s head volleyball coaches after receiving 41 points.
Samford, the 2011 SoCon tournament champions, was selected as the favorite in the North with 10 first-place votes and 65 total points. College of Charleston, who fell to Samford in the final match of the tournament, received 59 total points and six first-place votes and was selected to finish first in the South Division.
Appalachian State received two first-place votes and 48 points, just seven more than the Phoenix, to earn second in the preseason poll. UNCG was voted to finish fourth with 38 points, followed by Chattanooga and Western Carolina who tied for fifth with 27 points.
In the south, Furman received three first-place votes (57 points) and was picked to finish second, followed by last season’s preseason South favorite, Georgia Southern (three first-place votes; 52 points). The South Division was rounded out by Davidson (36 points), Wofford (26 points) and The Citadel (16 points).
The coaches also voted on the 2012 Preseason All-Conference Team. Samford led all schools with three selections, including the 2011 SoCon Player of the Year Elizabeth Neisler. She is joined by teammates Lauren Hutchinson and Katie Murphy on the preseason team.
Furman was second in selections with two (Natalie Braun and Caroline Adams), while 2011 Freshman of the Year Sloane White was the lone selection from College of Charleston. Kate Van Dyke of Georgia Southern and Davidson’s Caroline Brown rounded out the preseason all-conference team.
Elon will begin its 2012 campaign on Friday, August 24, in the Hilton RTP/NCCU Tournament, which the Phoenix won last season after going 4-0. The maroon and gold’s first match will be against Hampton at noon on the 24th.
2012 Preseason Coaches’ Poll North 1. Samford (10) – 65 points 2. Appalachian State (2) – 48 points 3. Elon – 41 points 4. UNCG – 38 points 5. Chattanooga – 27 points Western Carolina – 27 points South 1. College of Charleston (6) – 59 points 2. Furman (3) – 57 points 3. Georgia Southern (3) – 52 points 4. Davidson – 36 points 5. Wofford – 26 points 6. The Citadel – 16 points () denotes first-place votes 2012 Preseason All-Conference Team OH Elizabeth Neisler, Samford MB Lauren Hutchinson, Samford S Kate Van Dyke, Georgia Southern MB/RS Sloane White, CofC OH Natalie Braun, Furman MB Katie Murphy, Samford OH Caroline Brown, Davidson MB Caroline Adams, Furman