LSU volleyball picked as SEC West co-favorite
BATON ROUGE - The LSU volleyball team was selected as the SEC Western Division co-favorite with Texas A&M as announced Thursday in the league's annual preseason poll. It marked the sixth straight season that the Tigers have been chosen as a preseason division favorite by the SEC coaches.
LSU collected five of the possible 13 first place votes for a total of 21 points. Points were awarded on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 basis for the SEC Western Division and a 1-2-3-4-5-6 status for the SEC Eastern Division. Each coach was unable to vote for his or her own team, and each coach also voted for one team as the SEC's overall champion.
The Tigers bring back a veteran group of five starters in Helen Boyle, Desiree Elliott, Khourtni Fears, Cati Leak and Malorie Pardo for the 2013 season. Elliott, a two-time All-SEC pick, enters the season six kills away from reaching 1,000 for her career, while Pardo checks in at seventh place on LSU's all-time list with 2,285 career assists.
"Having the SEC coaches select our team at the top of the western division is something our program strives for every season," head coach Fran Flory said. "Certainly, we're excited to be in this position and look forward to all of the challenges in the season ahead starting with our preseason camp that begins on Saturday."
Texas A&M, the defending SEC Western Division champions, garnered six first place votes en route to 21 points. Arkansas secured 36 points and two first place votes for the third spot followed by Auburn, Alabama, Ole Miss and Mississippi State to round out the SEC West, respectively.
Florida picked up 12 of the 13 votes to repeat not only as the SEC's Eastern Division champion but to claim the conference's overall title. Kentucky charted one first place vote and came away with 25 points. Following the Gators and Wildcats in the SEC East predictions in order are Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina.
LSU will hold its annual Purple & Gold Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 6 p.m. inside the Maravich Center where fans will have the opportunity to get their first glimpse of the 2013 Tigers. Admission to the scrimmage and the entire 2013 home schedule which features 13 matches beginning with the Tiger Classic on Aug. 30-31 are free compliments of The Advocate's "Geaux Free" program.
Prior to the Purple & Gold Scrimmage, LSU will hold a free Kids Clinic where the Tigers will instruct basic skills beginning at 4 p.m. for children eighth grade and under. To reserve your spot, contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, Aug. 23 and include how many children will be attending the event. Check-in for the Kids Clinic starts at 3 p.m.
LSU has earned 171 victories, an average of 21.4 wins per season, to go along with seven of the last eight SEC Western Division titles since 2005. The Tigers also are one of 34 programs to appear in six NCAA Tournaments during the previous eight-year stretch.
LSU will square off with Texas-San Antonio (Aug. 30 - 7 p.m.), UC Davis (Aug. 31 - 10 a.m.) and San Diego State (Aug. 31 - 7:30 p.m.) for the season-opening Tiger Classic at the Maravich Center. Admission is free courtesy of The Advocate's "Geaux Free" program.