Aug. 9, 2005
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The JU volleyball team was selected to finish third in the 2005 Atlantic Sun Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, as released by the league office today. The Dolphins, who completed their first season under head coach Kevin Paul, finished 15-14 overall and 8-2 in the A-Sun after going 15-6 in the last half of the season. JU also won its first A-Sun Conference Championship title and earned the program's first NCAA Tournament bid in the Division I era.
Florida Atlantic was tabbed the preseason favorite, receiving eight of the possible 10 first-place votes (97 points), while Belmont (87 points) and JU (82) rounded out the top three with one first-place vote. North Florida (56), Mercer (55), Campbell (44), East Tennessee State (44), Stetson (39), Lipscomb (32) and Gardner-Webb (16) rounded out the rest of the field.
The Dolphins return all six starters from last year's squad including junior outside hitter Eva Stoilova (Sofia, Bulgaria), senior middle hitter Lindsay Ward (Fernandina Beach, Fla.) and senior outside hitter Joanna Silva (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Stoilova earned First-Team All-Atlantic Sun Conference honors after leading the Dolphins with 296 kills (3.08 kpg), while also ranking second in service aces (21) and digs (285 - 2.97 dpg). Ward earned A-Sun Championship MVP honors after leading the Dolphins with 46 kills and a .371 hitting percentage in three matches. Silva also earned A-Sun All-Tournament accolades after shattering the A-Sun Championship record for digs with 63 in three matches. She also posted two double-double (kills/digs) in the final two matches.
JU opens the 2005 season at the Georgia Southern Tri-Match in Statesboro, Ga. against Campbell on Friday, Aug. 26 at 12 p.m.
2005 Atlantic Sun Preseason Volleyball Poll
(1st Place votes) 1. Florida Atlantic (8) 97 2. Belmont (1) 87 3. Jacksonville 82 4. North Florida 56 5. Mercer 55 T6. Campbell 44 T6. ETSU 44 8. Stetson 39 9. Lipscomb 32 10. Gardner-Webb 16
Tournament Champion: Florida Atlantic