Lady'Back volleyball picked to win the SEC Western Division

Jump to Poll FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas volleyball team was selected to win the Southeastern Conference Western Division title for the 11th consecutive time in 12 seasons the league office announced recently. The Lady Razorbacks, who officially open the 2005 season hosting the Arkansas Invitational Friday and Saturday, have captured 10 of 11 previous titles and have been selected as the top team in the division every season except 1994 – the program’s inaugural year. "I think we’ll be competitive again in the Western Division," said Arkansas head coach Chris Poole. "Both LSU and Arkansas lost one player each and we both battled each other well last year and that’s reflected in this poll." Arkansas was actually selected to tie for the Western Division title with Louisiana State with the Tigers capturing six of the possible 11 first-place votes. Alabama was picked third in the West followed by Mississippi State, Auburn and Mississippi. "I think the poll is accurate based on the returners from last year," said Poole. "Polls are a way to get everyone excited about the season but we know that we have to go out and play good volleyball to be successful." Florida was selected to win the Eastern Division crown and the SEC Tournament, both crowns they surrendered to Tennessee last year. The Gators return nine letterwinners including the league’s player and freshman of the year. Tennessee was selected second in the East followed by Georgia, South Carolina and Kentucky. Points were compiled on a 6-5-4-3-2-1 basis for the Western Division and 5-4-3-2-1 for the Eastern Division. Each coach was not allowed to vote for his or her own team and each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion. The 2005 SEC Tournament will be held November 18-20 in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Preseason Coaches’ Poll(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)SEC Champion: Florida (7), Tennessee (4)

Western Division Eastern Division
LSU (6) 50 Florida (7) 43
ARKANSAS (5) 50 Tennessee (4) 40
Alabama 34 Georgia 26
Mississippi State 34 South Carolina 21
Auburn 24 Kentucky 10
Mississippi 11