SAINT LEO, Fla. – In completing what has been a Monday full of good news, the Saint Leo volleyball team learned that they had finally cracked into the American Volleyball Coaches Associations(AVCA) Top-25 poll when it was released in the afternoon.  The Lions found themselves in 23rd-place after a perfect week where they improved to 13-2 overall and 4-0 in the Sunshine State Conference.

After a year’s hiatus, the Lions jumped into the poll behind 118 votes, leapfrogging conference rival Eckerd, whom the Lions face on Wednesday, and West Florida, who Saint Leo defeated three weekends ago.

In a top-25 poll proving to many that the Sunshine State Conference is one of the most powerful volleyball conferences in the nation, four schools are ranked and three are getting votes, marking seven of the nine SSC schools that are in the poll in some form.  The University of Tampa is ranked fourth and Florida Southern is 17th, while Eckerd is 25th.  Lynn, Nova Southeastern and Barry are all receiving votes.

All schools are chasing 2008 National Champion Concordia – St. Paul, who is a perfect 17-0 and the Division II unanimous #1.

The Lions are ranked for the first time since they were 24th in the nation the week of September 28, 2008, exactly a year ago.  Saint Leo dropped out of the polls a week later after a tough weekend when they traveled to South Florida and fell to Lynn and Nova Southeastern.

Saint Leo’s first test as a ranked team will come on Wednesday evening when they travel to St. Petersburg, Fla. to face #25 Eckerd College.  The match is scheduled to get underway at 7:00 p.m.