BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The LSU volleyball team was a unanimous choice to defend its SEC Western Division title Monday in the annual coaches' preseason pool as announced by the league office. The Tigers received 10 first place votes for a total of 10 points.
Points were compiled on a 1-2-3-4-5-6 basis for the SEC Western Division and 1-2-3-4-5 for the SEC Eastern Division. Each coach wasn't allowed to vote for his or her own team and each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
"Certainly being chosen to win the SEC West is a tribute to our returning players like Michele Williams and Desiree Elliott," head coach Fran Flory said. "They have blazed a path for our program. We're appreciative and honored to be picked in this position, but we know it's not where you start it's where you finish. We have to go on the court and prove it. We're working hard every day in practice to accomplish this goal."
LSU has racked up six consecutive SEC Western Division championships and posted a 54-6 mark versus its fellow division foes highlighted by 30-match home winning streak going back to the 2005 season. Under Flory, the Tigers also are one of 18 programs nationally to appear in each six NCAA Tournaments en route to the nation's 11th-best winning percentage during their six-year run.
Following LSU in the SEC West predictions in order are Ole Miss, Arkansas, Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State.
Florida charted nine first-place votes and was picked to win the overall SEC title. The Gators won all 20 of their SEC matches in 2010 to claim their 19th overall conference crown. Tennessee came away with two first-place votes to finish with 19 points followed by Kentucky, Georgia and South Carolina to round out the SEC East, respectively.
LSU plays host to its annual Purple & Gold Scrimmage Saturday at 7 p.m. before the Tigers open the regular season by welcoming Alcorn State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Jacksonville State and 2010 NCAA Tournament participant Miami, Fla. to the Maravich Center for the Tiger Classic on Aug. 26-27.
Fans are encouraged to take advantage of the Geaux Free program for all matches this season compliments of The Advocate. The Tigers have compiled a 62-10 mark at home dating back to the 2005 season.
For all of the latest information on LSU volleyball, log on to http://www.lsusports.net/volleyball or follow the program's social media outlets at http://twitter.com/lsuvolleyball or LSU Volleyball on Facebook.
2011 SEC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll
(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)
Ole Miss, 22
Mississippi State, 50
South Carolina, 44
SEC Champion: Florida (9), Tennessee (2)