Averett, Covenant, Maryville Chosen as USA South Volleyball Favorites

Averett, Covenant, Maryville Chosen as USA South Volleyball Favorites

(FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.) - The USA South Athletic Conference's volleyball coaches have released their 2016 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. This is the fourth season that the Conference will split into divisions in the sport of volleyball as the Conference welcomes new League members Agnes Scott College, Salem College and Wesleyan College.

Averett University, under the direction of 22-year Head Coach Danny Miller was picked to be the East Division favorite. The Cougars are the defending USA South regular season divisional champions and advanced to the semifinals of the USA South tournament last season. Averett placed first in the 2016 preseason poll with 47 total points and five first place votes. Last year's preseason top divisional pick, Meredith College, was second with 45 points and the final three first place votes. Placing third in the poll with 35 points was William Peace University followed by Methodist University in fourth place with 31 points and Ferrum College in fifth place with 27 points. Rounding out the poll were Greensboro College (17 points), N.C. Wesleyan College (15 points) and Mary Baldwin (seven points).

Placing tied atop the USA South West Division poll was Covenant College, led by four-year head coach Joanna Ehman, and Maryville College, led by 31-year head coach Kandis Schram. Covenant earned the program's first USA South divisional and tournament championships last season after being picked to finish second divisionally. Maryville placed second in the division a year ago and fell in the finals of the Conference tournament ending a run of two straight Conference tournament titles. Each team received 46 total points and four first place votes. Placing third in the poll with 32 points was Piedmont College followed by Huntingdon College in fourth place with 28 points and LaGrange College in fifth place with 27 points. Rounding out the poll were Agnes Scott (24 points), Salem (14 points) and Wesleyan (seven points).

The volleyball regular season gets underway on Thursday, September 1 as six of the League's 16 teams are in action.

The 2016 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, November 1. 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 4-5.

2016 USA South Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll
East Division
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
1. Averett (5) 47
2. Meredith (3) 45
3. William Peace 35
4. Methodist 31
5. Ferrum 27
6. Greensboro 17
7. N.C. Wesleyan 15
8. Mary Baldwin 7
2016 USA South Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll
West Division
Rank Institution (1st Place Votes) Pts.
t-1. Covenant (4) 46
t-1. Maryville (4) 46
3. Piedmont 32
4. Huntingdon 28
5. LaGrange 27
6. Agnes Scott 24
7. Salem  14
8. Wesleyan 7


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