Spartanburg, S.C. (August 28, 2003) -
East Tennessee State's volleyball team was selected to finish ninth in the 2003 Southern Conference Volleyball Coaches Poll, which was released Thursday by the league office. Georiga Southern, the 2002 co-champions, was picked to win the title outright over defending SoCon tournament champions and regular season co-champions, College of Charleston.
The Buccaneers, who tallied a total of 46 points in the poll, were barely edged out by SoCon newcomer Elon (48). ETSU placed eighth in the league last season after finishing with a 6-14 record in the conference and 8-23 overall.
"I can't be concerned with where we are ranked heading into the season," said first-year head coach Lindsey Devine
, who served on last year's staff as an assistant. "What I am concerned with is being prepared for every match and that starts this weekend."
ETSU will open its 2003 season this weekend when the Bucs travel to Blacksburg, Va., where they will meet up with Campbell, Miami (Ohio), and host Virginia Tech at the 2003 Hokie Classic. Devine has a relatively young team returning to the court, which she attributes the low ranking in the preseason poll, but she believes the Buccaneers have what it takes to surprise some people come conference tournament time.
"As I stated before, we are a disciplined team and very physically fit," said Devine. "We will work hard to win matches and in a short time nobody will remember who was ranked one, two, and three. We have absolutely no pressure, but we will be looking forward to proving people wrong."
The Bucs lead off the Hokie Classic against Campbell at 5 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29. Live stats will be available on the Internet by logging on to http://www.hokiesports.com/volleyball/live/
2003 Southern Conference Volleyball Preseason Poll
1 Georgia Southern (10) 120
2. Coll. of Charleston (2) 102
3. Davidson 97
. Furman 95
5 Western Carolina 74
6. Appalachian State 65
7. Chattanooga 60
8. Elon 48
9. East Tennessee State 46
10. Wofford 42
11. UNC Greensboro 32
12. The Citadel 11