North Carolina Predicted as 2016 ACC Volleyball Champion
Tar Heels the overwhelming favorite in preseason poll
GREENSBORO, N.C. – For the third year in a row, North Carolina has been chosen as the Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball preseason favorite in a vote by the league’s 15 head coaches.
The Tar Heels garnered 194 out of a possible 196 points and 12 first-place votes. Coaches were not allowed to include their own team in their predicted order of finish.
North Carolina finished 21-10 overall and 17-3 in conference play during the 2015 season. The Tar Heels made the NCAA Tournament but fell to Creighton, 3-1, in the second round. Their roster features 12 returning members from last year’s squad.
Coming in at the number two spot was Florida State with 182 votes and creating the rest of the top five were Miami (159), Louisville (146) and Pitt (142). Duke (127) placed sixth ahead of Georgia Tech (117), while Virginia’s 101 votes edged Virginia Tech (100) for eighth. Syracuse (95) was picked tenth, followed by Notre Dame (72), NC State (53), Boston College and Clemson (T30), and Wake Forest (27).
Twelve teams are represented on the 2016 All-ACC Preseason Team. Reigning ACC Champion Louisville leads the squad with three representatives, followed by Duke, Florida State, North Carolina and Miami with two selections apiece. Clemson, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Pitt, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech all have one selection.
Thirteen of the 18 selections were voted to the 2015 All-ACC Team, including the 2015 ACC Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year, Molly Sauer of Louisville. The list also features two student-athletes that were awarded honorable mention All-America honors and 10 that were named to various All-Region Teams by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.
The 2016 season gets underway on Friday, Aug. 26, with 13 of the league’s 15 teams in action. The 2016 ACC volleyball champion will be determined by the final regular season standings, with that team receiving an automatic bid to the 2016 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship.