(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) - Christopher Newport University, under the direction of Head Coach Lindsay Birch in her 11th year, was picked in the preseason coaches' poll to win the USA South Athletic Conference volleyball title in 2012. The Captains have captured at least a share of eight consecutive regular season crowns. CNU has also won nine of the past 11 USA South Tournament championships, including the last five titles. Last season, the Captains advanced to the National Championship Game of the NCAA Division III Tournament. CNU is currently ranked first in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III National Preseason Poll.
The 2012 season marks the first in the USA South for new
Conference members LaGrange College, Maryville College and Piedmont
College. Each institution is a former member of the Great South
Christopher Newport received 11 of the 12 first place votes (121 points) as head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting.
Newcomer Maryville looks to make an immediate impact as the Scots are ranked second in the poll with 108 points and the final remaining first place vote. Last year's Conference Tournament runner-up, Averett University placed third in the rankings with 99 points while N.C. Wesleyan College was fourth with 87 points. Rounding out the top-half of the poll was another new addition to the league, Piedmont, with 80 points.
The volleyball regular season gets underway on Friday, August 31 as five of the league's 12 teams are in action.
For the first time, the 2012 USA South Tournament will head to Martinsville, Virginia as the Southern Virginia Recreation Facilities Authority will host the event. The contests will be held at Patrick Henry Community College. First round matches will take place on Friday, November 2, following by the semifinals and final which will be played on Saturday, November 3. The top-eight seeded teams after the conclusion of regular season competition will advance to the tournament.
|2012 USA South Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll|
|Rank||Institution (1st Place Votes)||Pts.|
|1.||Christopher Newport (11)||121|