FOREST, Va. — The Old Dominion Athletic Conference released its 2019 volleyball preseason coaches' poll on Wednesday, and Washington and Lee garnered the top spot out of 13 schools with 139 points and eight first-place votes.
Randolph-Macon was second with 135 points and four first-place nods. Bridgewater was third with 116 points and the final first-place tally. Virginia Wesleyan (109 points) took fourth and Roanoke (103 points) rounded out the Top 5.
Guilford nabbed the sixth spot with 89 points, Lynchburg (85 points) was seventh and Shenandoah (52 points) was picked eighth. Eastern Mennonite (48 points), Emory & Henry (46 points), Randolph (44 points), Ferrum (30 points) and Hollins (18 points) completed the poll.
The Generals claimed the 2018 ODAC title, which marked their 16th in program history, and the team finished the season 21-13 overall and 11-1 in league play. W&L then fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to then fourth-ranked Colorado College in five sets.
The Blue and White returns 15 letterwinners from last year's squad, highlighted by senior outside hitter Allison Webb (Thousand Oaks, Calif./Westlake), senior setter Anna Soroka (Mechanicsville, Va./Lee-Davis) and junior middle blocker Courtney Berry (Charlottesville, Va./Western Albemarle). The Generals also bring in five newcomers.
Webb earned AVCA Honorable Mention All-America laurels last season and was First Team All-South Region, First Team All-ODAC and a second team all-state honoree. She tied for eighth in the conference in kills (307), was sixth in points (371.5), fourth in blocks (78) and eighth in hitting percentage (.271). She was the only player in the league with at least 700 attack attempts and a hitting percentage greater than .260.
Soroka, a Second Team All-ODAC selection in 2018, was second in the ODAC in assists with a career-high 983 last fall, and that total marked the eighth-most in a single-season in program history. Berry was a Third Team All-ODAC honoree last year and finished the season third in the conference in hitting percentage (.339) and fifth in the league in total blocks (77).
W&L opens the 2019 season on Friday, August 30 against Hanover (12:00 pm) and Huntingdon (5:00 pm) at the Maryville College Bicentennial Invitational.
|2019 ODAC VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON POLL|
|(#) Denotes First Place Votes|
|1. Washington and Lee University (8)||139 pts.|
|2. Randolph-Macon College (4)||135 pts.|
|3. Bridgewater College (1)||116 pts.|
|4. Virginia Wesleyan University||109 pts.|
|5. Roanoke College||103 pts.|
|6. Guilford College||89 pts.|
|7. University of Lynchburg||85 pts.|
|8. Shenandoah University||52 pts.|
|9. Eastern Mennonite University||48 pts.|
|10. Emory & Henry College||46 pts.|
|11. Randolph College||44 pts.|
|12. Ferrum College||30 pts.|
|13. Hollins University||18 pts.|
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