Duke Predicted to Finish First in ACC Volleyball Standings
Aug. 18, 2009
GREENSBORO, N.C. - The Duke University volleyball team is predicted to win the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference championship and headlines a list of 18 student-athletes selected to the 2009 Preseason All-ACC volleyball team, as announced today by Commissioner John D. Swofford.
Duke takes in 116 of a possible 121 points, including seven of 12 first place votes. Coaches' votes for the predicted order of finish were tallied with 11 points being applied to a first-place vote, 10 points for a second-place vote, etc. Coaches were not permitted to predict their own team's order of finish.
Just 17 points separate the top-four teams as Florida State, Miami, and North Carolina also take in first-place votes. Florida State follows Duke in second place with 104 points and three first-place votes, while Miami is tabbed to finish in third with 101 points and one first-place vote. North Carolina lands in fourth with 99 points and one first-place vote.
Clemson is tabbed fifth with 75 points, and is followed by Virginia Tech (71), Virginia (62), Georgia Tech (49), Wake Forest (47), Maryland (33), NC State (21), and Boston College (14).
In the Preseason All-ACC selections, a total of six players who earned All-America status from the American Volleyball Coaches Association last season are among the 18 players selected to the Preseason All-ACC volleyball team. Clemson's Kelsey Murphy and Lia Proctor, Duke's Rachael Moss, Miami's Lane Carico, North Carolina's Heather Brooks, and Virginia Tech's Felicia Willoughby headline the 2009 Preseason All-ACC team.
Nine of 12 teams are represented on the 18-player squad, including a four-way tie for the lead as Clemson, Duke, Florida State, and Miami have three players named to the team apiece. Defending ACC co-champion North Carolina has two on the list, while Georgia Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest each make an appearance with one student-athlete.
Last season, Duke and North Carolina shared the ACC championship with identical 15-5 conference records. Duke finished 2008 with a 25-9 overall record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. This season 11-year veteran head coach Jolene Nagel returns 11 letterwinners and five starters from 2008, including senior Honorable Mention All-American outside hitter Rachael Moss, sophomore All-East Region setter Kellie Catanach, who, along with sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Sophia Dunworth, was selected to the ACC's All-Freshman team.
Florida State ended 2008 in fifth place with 21-9 overall and 13-7 ACC records under first-year head coach Chris Poole, while Miami was 26-6 overall and 14-6 in the ACC in head coach Nicole Lantagne Welch's eighth season with the Hurricanes. Under the guidance of 20-year veteran Joe Sagula, North Carolina recorded a 22-11 slate and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, while Clemson recorded 23-10 overall and 14-6 ACC records and also advanced to the NCAA second round.
The Blue Devils have won at least a share of the ACC regular season crown three times since 2001 and will bid for its eighth conference title in 2009.
The 2009 volleyball season will open on the weekend of August 28 with all 12 teams competing in tournament action. The 2009 ACC volleyball champion will be determined by the final regular season standings. The ACC champion receives an automatic bid to the 2009 NCAA Tournament.