The 2004-05 Lady Bucs posted a 19-7 record a year ago, tied for second in the regular season standings, and advanced to the conference semifinals in tournament action. The ITA poll is based on coaches' rankings from each team in the region.
"I'm real excited that the team is ranked since it is based on the coaches' choices," said ETSU head coach Steve Brooks. "It's good to know that they recognize we are becoming a competitive team. I hope to carry this over to next year when we'll be a lot stronger."
Of the teams ranked in the Top 15, 13 of those squads are ranked nationally. While the Lady Bucs are not part of that nationally-recognized group, Brooks said it is an indication of the Southeast Region's competition level.
"This is the first time our team has been regionally ranked," Brooks said. "When the rankings came out a few weeks ago, it really made the team eager for the season to start."
Every key players from last year's team will return in 2005-06, and combined with a strong freshman class, Brooks said the team should build on last year's success.
"I think all of our hard work and rebuilding these last four years is starting to pay off," said Brooks, whose team will be competing in its first season as a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference this year.