Southwestern favored to win 2009 SCAC Volleyball Championship

SUWANEE, Ga. - For just the second time in league history, Southwestern University was selected as preseason favorites to win the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference volleyball championship. Southwestern was also the preseason favorite to win the league in 1998.

In a league where five different teams have received NCAA tournament berths in the last three years, the Pirates were tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the SCAC title just ahead of defending league champion Trinity University. In the annual preseason vote by the league's head coaches, Southwestern tallied six of 12 first place votes and received 126 points to headline the poll.

Head coach Hannah Long and her Pirates finished 2008 with a 36-5 overall record and 14-1 mark in SCAC play and lost a heart-breaking 3-2 match to second-ranked Emory (Ga.) in the Division III South Regional final.

Trinity University closely followed Southwestern and checked in at No. 2 in the preaseason poll. The Tigers garnered 122 points and five of 12 first place votes. Tigers head coach Julie Jenkins and her squad will look for the program's 12th straight SCAC title and 18th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division III tournament.

Colorado College (108 points, one first place vote) was the only other team to receive a first place vote and checked into the poll in third place.

Austin College (2007 NCAA participant) and DePauw University tallied 91 and 90 points to finish fourth and fifth respectively. Rhodes College rounds out the top six with 72 points.

Rounding out the 2009 predicted order of finish: Centre College was tabbed seventh with 54 points and Millsaps College picked up 47 points to come in eighth. Hendrix College followed with 41 points while Oglethorpe University (10th, 29 points) and Sewanee-University of the South (11th, 12 points) complete the poll.

 

2009 SCAC Predicted Order of Finish
       2008 Record
Conf. / Overall
    No. of votes
1 Southwestern University Pirates 126 (6) 14-1 36-5
2 Trinity University Tigers  122 (5) 13-1 31-10
3 Colorado College Tigers 108 (1)  12-3 27-12
4 Austin College Kangaroos 91 9-5 25-12
5 DePauw University Tigers 90  11-4 25-14
6 Rhodes College Lynx  72 8-7 18-22
7 Centre College Colonels 54 5-9 17-25
8 Millsaps College Majors 47  4-11 15-24
9 Hendrix College Warriors 41  3-11 14-29
10 Oglethorpe University Stormy Petrels 29 1-14 12-27
11 Sewanee-University of the South Tigers 12 0-14 3-23
         
*Birimingham-Southern, a Division III provisional member, was not considered
in the pre-season conference rankings.

Note: First-place votes (in parentheses) are worth eleven points, second-place
worth ten, on down to eleventh-place votes being worth one.