LEXINGTON, Kentucky – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) has released the 2012 preseason top-25 coach's poll. Ranked 16th on this year's preseason poll was UMass Boston, marking the first time in program history that the Beacons have been ranked this high on any national poll.
Combined the Beacons earned a total of 211 points after closing out their 2011 season with a 28-5 record, their third Little East Conference tournament crown, and their second straight trip to the NCAA East Region final.
Christopher Newport University was selected as the number one team in Division III women's volleyball after collecting 14 of the possible 21 first place votes. Reigning Division III national champion Washington-St. Louis was picked second after tallying seven first place votes.
UMass will face Christopher Newport, as well as 19th ranked Southwestern University (Texas) in October as part of their annual Beacons Invitational. The Beacons will also face familiar foes Tufts University and Bowdoin College, both of which received votes after advancing to the East Regional last season.
This season head coach Terry Condon, will look to lead UMass Boston back to the NCAA Final Eight after narrowly missing out on it last season. Led by three-time All-American Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, Calif.) the Beacons will showcase a solid core of veteran returners and talented newcomers.
The Beacons will get their season off to a busy start as they will play four matches in two days in Pomona, California on August 31 and September 1. From there they will compete in the Endicott College Invitational, before hosting back-to-back home matches in the Clark Athletic Center.