Florida State, Duke Favored To Vie For Top Honors In ACC Volleyball

Aug. 17, 2010

GREENSBORO, N.C. - Florida State, the defending regular season champion, and Duke, the 2009 runner-up, were predicted by the league's head coaches to win the 2010 Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball championship, as announced today by Commissioner John Swofford.

Florida State and Duke each totaled 108 points out of a possible 121, while the Seminoles collected five first-place votes to the Blue Devils' four. First place votes were awarded 11 points, second place received 10 points, etc. Coaches were not allowed to include their own team in their predicted order of finish.

The top four teams were separated by just 16 points. Receiving the final three first-place votes was Georgia Tech, which was predicted to finish third with 103 points. Miami (92) and North Carolina (75) rounded out the top five.

Clemson came in sixth with 71 points, followed closely by Virginia in seventh with 70 points. Virginia Tech (55), Maryland (40), Wake Forest (38), NC State (20) and Boston College (12) completed the 2010 predicted order of finish.

Nine teams are represented on the 2010 Preseason All-ACC team. Georgia Tech led all conference teams with four selections, while predicted co-first place finishers Florida State and Duke each had three. Clemson and Miami claimed two honorees apiece. Four schools tallied one recipient including North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.

The preseason team includes seven American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America Honorable Mention recipients: Sandra Adeleye of Clemson; Kellie Catanach of Duke; Rachael Morgan of Florida State; Monique Mead and Mary Ashley Tippins of Georgia Tech; Lane Carico of Miami; and Felicia Willoughby of Virginia Tech.

 A league-record five teams are coming off appearances in the 2009 NCAA Volleyball Championship.

 Florida State returns three starters and eight letterwinners to a team that advanced to the regional finals last season before falling to Minnesota. In just his second year at the helm, AVCA East Region Coach of the Year Chris Poole led FSU to its first postseason appearance since 2002. The Seminoles completed the 2009 campaign with a 19-1 league record, including a 31-3 overall mark, to clinch their first outright regular season title in program history. The team is led by preseason All-ACC selections Rachael Morgan, Stephanie Neville and Fatma Yildirim.

The Blue Devils finished the 2009 season 27-6 overall and 17-3 in league play. They return five starters plus a libero to a squad that made its fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament under head coach Jolene Nagel, who enters her 12th season at the helm. Becci Burling, Kellie Catanach and Claire Smalzer earned preseason All-ACC nods for Duke.

 Georgia Tech welcomes back five starters, including its libero and 2009 ACC Freshman of the Year Monique Mead. Bailey Hunter, Jordan McCullers and Mary Ashley Tippins join Mead as preseason All-ACC honorees. Guided by first year head coach Tonya Johnson, the Yellow Jackets posted a 21-10 overall record and went 15-5 in conference play in 2009 to finish third in the league and earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. It marked their first appearance since 2004.

Miami finished the 2009 season tied for fifth with North Carolina after both teams went 11-9 in league play. Head coach Nicole Latagne Welch returns for her 10th season with the Hurricanes, which posted an 18-13 overall record in 2009 and made its second appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Miami returns four starters and nine letterwinners, including preseason All-ACC honorees Lane Carico and Lici McGee.

North Carolina posted a 15-16 overall record in 2009. Head coach Joe Sagula enters his 21st season at the helm, welcoming back three starters, including a libero, and 13 letterwinners. Earning preseason All-ACC honors for the Tar Heels is Courtney Johnston.

Duke is seeking its 10th ACC Championship, with its last coming in 2008 when it tied for the top spot in the league with North Carolina. Florida State looks to clinch its second consecutive regular season crown.

The season gets underway Friday, August 27, as all 12 league teams will be in action. The 2010 ACC volleyball champions will be determined by the final regular season standings with the ACC champion receiving an automatic bid to the 2010 NCAA Volleyball Championship.


2010 Predicted Order of Finish (as selected by the league's coaches)

 Team (First Place Votes)  Points  2009 Overall Record (2009 ACC Record)
 T1. Florida State (5)  108  31-3 (19-1)
 T1. Duke (4)  108  27-6 (17-3)
 3. Georgia Tech (3)  103  21-10 (15-5)
 4. Miami  92  18-13 (11-9)
 5. North Carolina  75  15-16 (11-9)
 6. Clemson  71  23-10 (13-7)
 7. Virginia  70  12-19 (7-13)
 8. Virginia Tech  55  19-12 (9-11)
 9. Maryland  40  14-19 (6-14)
 10. Wake Forest  38  11-20 (9-11)
 11. NC State  20  8-27 (1-19)
 12. Boston College  12  12-19 (2-18)

2010 Preseason All-ACC Team (as selected by the league's coaches)

 Name  School  Year  Position
 Sandra Adeleye  Clemson  Sophmore  Middle Blocker
 Alexa Rand  Clemson  Sophmore  Middle Blocker
 Becci Burling  Duke  Senior  Middle Blocker
 Kellie Catanach  Duke  Junior  Setter
 Claire Smalzer  Duke  Senior  Libero
 Rachael Morgan  Florida State  Junior  Outside Hitter
 Stephanie Neville  Florida State  Senior  Outside Hitter
 Fatma Yildirim  Florida State  Sophmore  Outside Hitter
 Bailey Hhunter  Georgia Tech  Junior  Outside Hitter
 Jordan McCullers  Georgia Tech  Senior  Libero
 Monigue Mead  Georgia Tech  Sophmore  Right Side Hitter
 Mary Ashley Tippins  Georgia Tech  Senior  Setter
 Lane Carico  Miami  Junior  Outside Hitter
 Lici McGee  Miami  Senior  Middle Blocker
 Courtney Johnston  North Carolina  Senior  Outside/Right Side Hitter
 Simone Asque  Virginia  Junior  Outside Hitter
 Felicia Willoughby  Virginia Tech  Senior  Middle Blocker
 Kadija Fornah  Wake Forest  Junior  Outside Hitter