Meredith & Covenant Chosen as USA South Volleyball Favorites

Meredith & Covenant Chosen as USA South Volleyball Favorites

The USA South Athletic Conference's volleyball coaches have released their 2018 preseason polls. Each divisional preseason poll only includes votes from coaches within that particular division-only. Head coaches do not vote for their own teams in the balloting.

Meredith College, under the direction of Head Coach Fiona Barkley, was picked to be the East Division favorite. The Avenging Angels will look to capture their first regular season title since 2014 as last fall Meredith finished third in the East Division standings with a 12-4 League mark. Meredith accumulated 59 points and four first place votes in this year's preseason poll which was one point more than defending East Division champion, Averett University, who also collected four first place votes. The final first place vote was grabbed by third place finisher William Peace University. 

Atop the USA South West Division poll was Covenant College, led by head coach Joanna Ehman. The Scots earned the program's third consecutive USA South divisional championship last season to go along with the second tournament title in three years. The Scots became the first USA South team to collect a NCAA Tournament win in five years as they advanced to the second round. Covenant received 49 total points and seven first place votes in this year's preseason poll ahead of Maryville College who nabbed the final first place vote.

The USA South welcomed Brevard College and Pfeiffer University last season as institutions reclassifying from NCAA Division II status. This year each of their teams are included in the preseason poll and eligible for regular season championship honors. Both Brevard and Pfeiffer still will not be eligible to qualify for the USA South Tournament and/or the NCAA Tournament until full NCAA Division III membership is established. 

The volleyball regular season gets underway on Friday, August 31 as 14 League teams are in action.

The 2018 USA South Tournament will once again take place on campus sites. The top-six seeded teams from each division will advance to the tournament. The top-two overall seeds from each division will host first and quarterfinal matches on Tuesday, October 30. The winners of the quarterfinal contests will travel to the highest remaining seed who will host the semifinals and finals which will be played on November 2-3.

 

2018 USA South Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll
East Division
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Meredith (4) 59 
2. Averett^ (4) 58 
3. William Peace (1) 45 
4. Salem 42 
5. Methodist 36 
6. N.C. Wesleyan 33
7. Greensboro 22 
8. Pfeiffer* 20 
9. Mary Baldwin 9
*Ineligible for USA South Tournament (Div. III Reclassifying Member)
^Defending Division Champion
2018 USA South Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll
West Division
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Covenant^# (7) 49
2. Maryville (1) 40 
t-3. Brevard* 34 
t-3. Piedmont 34 
5. Huntingdon 25 
6. LaGrange 19 
7. Agnes Scott 14 
8. Berea 9
*Ineligible for USA South Tournament (Div. III Reclassifying Member)
^Defending Division Champion
#Defending Tournament Champion