Volleyball picked third in A-Sun Preseason Coaches Poll

Aug. 15, 2007

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A-Sun Release

After reaching the final match of the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship for only the second time in program history, the JU volleyball team was selected to finish third in the 2007 A-Sun Preseason Coaches Poll.

Belmont, which won the championship last season, was tabbed the preseason favorite with 132 points (six first place points) while East Tennessee State (one first-place vote) and JU (one first-place vote) rounded out the top three. Florida Gulf Coast (three first-place votes), North Florida, Lipscomb (first-place vote), Campbell, Mercer, Gardner-Webb, Stetson, Kennesaw State and USC Upstate rounded out the rest of the field, respectfully.

"I'm glad the members of our conference have so much respect for our program," said JU head coach Shaun Kupferberg. "It says a lot when a program brings in seven new players and is still ranked in the upper tier of the conference. We'll do our best to try and exceed those expectations."

The Dolphins, who completed their first season under Kupferberg, finished 17-15 overall and 5-4 in conference play last season. After going 4-8 to start the year, JU finished 13-7 and won two straight games in the conference tournament to reach the finals against Belmont.

After reporting for camp a week ago, the Dolphins are nine days away from opening the 2007 season. With seven new faces and five returnees, Kupferberg is pleased with the progress of the squad and the competition which is mounting for starting positions.

"I'm excited about how well we are doing in our first week of camp," Kupferberg said. "Only a few bumps and bruises have occurred and the girls are working together really well.

"The incoming players are all developing very fast and the returning players have, in turn, been pushed to improve as well. This year's team is going to be very deep and some of our best competition will be at practice."

JU will open its 2007 season against Butler in the Green and Orange Challenge on Friday, Aug. 24, at 4 p.m. in Coral Gables, Fla.