LEXINGTON, KY - After finishing as the NCAA Division II national runner-up a year ago, Florida Southern College volleyball has been ranked No. 4 in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced on Thursday. The Moccasins finished last season ranked No. 2 in the final AVCA Coaches Poll of the season after finishing as the national runners-up at the 2017 NCAA Division II Volleyball Championships.
This year's No. 4 preseason rank is tied for the best preseason ranking in school history as the 1992 squad also entered the season ranked No. 4. The Mocs have now been ranked in the top 10 of the AVCA Coaches poll a total of 79 times in program history. Florida Southern is the highest ranked Sunshine State Conference team in the poll, as the SSC was also represented by Palm Beach Atlantic (No. 12) while Saint Leo and Tampa were among those receiving votes.
Defending national champion Concordia-St. Paul topped the poll with 47 of a possible 48 first-place votes, while Southwest Minnesota State, Minnesota Duluth, Florida Southern, and Western Washington rounded out the top five. The Moccasins will play a total of six teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the preseason top-25. In addition to conference matchups with Palm Beach Atlantic, Saint Leo, and Tampa, Florida Southern will also take on No. 21 Ferris State, No. 22 Central Missouri, and West Texas A&M (RV).
The 2018 campaign gets underway on Aug. 24 as the Mocs battle Truman State at the Peggy Martin Challenge in Warrensburg, MO, and Florida Southern will play its first home match on Aug. 31 against No. 21 Ferris State in its first contest of the Terrace Hotel Classic.