LakePoint, Ga. – The USC Upstate volleyball team has been picked to finish in seventh place according to the league’s head coaches as the annual ASUN Preseason Volleyball Coaches Poll was released by the conference office this afternoon.
Upstate garnered a total of 22 points in the preseason poll after winning a Division I era record 15 games last season. Overall, the Spartans finished last year with a 15-15 overall record. Rising sophomore setter/right side Madison Haake became the fifth Spartan in program history to be selected to the ASUN All-Freshman Team, and the first since 2012.
Defending league champion Lipscomb received five first-place votes and is favored to win the conference in 2016 after picking up 56 total points. Kennesaw State comes in at second place with two-first place votes and 50 points, followed by Florida Gulf Coast in third with 46 points. Jacksonville (fourth place) and North Florida (fifth place) are within one point of each other in the poll at 36 and 35 points, respectively.
Stetson earned the final first-place vote and is ahead of Upstate in sixth with 28 points. NJIT rounds out the preseason poll in eighth place with a total of 15 points.
The Spartans return nine letterwinners from last season including five starters in Haake, Emily Koelling, Rebecca Shearer, Brianna Tellschow and Callie Yeargin.
Upstate opens its season August 26-27 at the Fairfield Inn Buccaneer Challenge hosted by East Tennessee State. The Spartans host Gardner-Webb in their home opener on August 30 at 6 p.m.
ASUN Preseason Volleyball Coaches Poll
1. Lipscomb (5) – 56 points
2. Kennesaw State (2) – 50 points
3. FGCU – 46 points
4. Jacksonville – 36 points
5. North Florida – 35 points
6. Stetson (1) – 28 points
7. USC Upstate – 22 points
8. NJIT – 15 points