Florida volleyball ranked No. 18 in preseason poll

The University of Florida's Chloe Mann (10) and head coach Mary Wise look to a referee as a time out is called during a match against the University of Michigan in the regional semifinals of the 2011 NCAA Volleyball Championship, at the Stephen C. O'connell Center, in Gainesville, Dec. 9 , 2011.

Brad McClenny/ Staff photographer/ File
Published: Monday, August 13, 2012 at 10:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, August 13, 2012 at 10:39 p.m.

The Florida volleyball team, coming off a 27-6 record and an NCAA regional final appearance in 2011, has earned a No. 18 ranking in the 2012 American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Preseason Coaches' Top-25 Poll, the AVCA office in Lexington, Ky., announced Monday.

The AVCA's top-five teams include defending NCAA Champion UCLA (No. 1), Texas (No. 2), Penn State (No. 3), Nebraska (No. 4) and Southern California (No. 5).

The Gators are one of three Southeastern Conference teams ranked in the top-25 poll to begin the 2012 campaign. Eastern Division foe Kentucky is ranked 13th and 2011 SEC Champion Tennessee is ranked 15th. There are also three SEC opponents receiving votes, with LSU (24 votes), Texas A&M (15 votes) and Missouri (9 votes) being recognized.

Florida's non-conference opponents ranked in the 2012 AVCA preseason poll are No. 2 Texas, No. 6 Stanford and No. 12 Florida State.

The Gators will face eight teams this season ranked in the AVCA preseason top-25 or receiving votes. Florida will square off with two of the top 10 teams in the AVCA preseason poll this season at the Nike Big Four Classic, which pits No. 2 Texas and No. 6 Stanford against the No. 18 Gators at Rec Hall on the campus of No. 3 Penn State.

Florida's ranking marks the 21st consecutive year that Mary Wise's squad has been regarded as one of the nation's top-20 teams headed into the season.

Florida begins the 2012 campaign Aug. 24-25, when they host the Campus USA Credit Union Invitational, featuring a Sunshine State lineup of the Gators, Florida Gulf Coast, Florida A&M and Florida International. The Gators were picked to finish third in the Southeastern Conference this season. Season tickets are on sale now for the 2012 Florida volleyball season and fans have multiple options to enjoy the Gators in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center.

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