Tampa Tabbed No. 2 In AVCA Preseason Poll

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) has announced its preseason NCAA Division II volleyball poll, with the University of Tampa slated at the No. 2 spot, behind five-time defending national champion Concordia University at St. Paul.

Five-time defending national champions Concordia-St. Paul received all 32 first-place votes as the preseason favorite to defend its crown. Cal State-San Bernardino, Nebraska-Kearney and Central Missouri follow UT to round out the top five..

The Spartans had an incredible run last year finishing 33-2, but eventually losing to Concordia-St. Paul in the national semifinals.  Look for them to get right back to the NCAA Tournament as they return five starters and 10 letter-winners.

Leading the way will be senior middle hitter Danielle Selkridge.  The 2011 AVCA First-Team All-American not only took home the Sunshine State Conference Player of the year, but completed the season as the NCAA Division II leader in hitting percentage (.498).

Tampa is one of three Sunshine State Conference schools in the top-25, as Eckerd (19) and Rollins (22) also received mention. Florida Southern also received votes.

Head coach Chris Catanach has coached his Spartan squad to 217 consecutive weeks in the top-25, marking the second-longest active streak. This also marks the 26th straight week UT has been ranked in the national top-five.

The Spartans open the 2012 season on Aug. 31 versus Lock Haven at the West Florida Invitational in Pensacola, Fla.

Click here for complete top 25

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