WINTER PARK, Fla. – The Saint Leo volleyball team finds itself in a familiar spot to start the 2012 season as the Lions were picked to finish fifth in the Sunshine State Conference preseason poll when it was released on Wednesday.
Placed in the middle of the nine-school SSC, the Lions start exactly where they concluded 2011 after posting a 7-9 conference record, finishing 14-15 overall.
Looking to strengthen his lineup, Head Coach Sam Cibrone adds four upper-class transfers to an experienced core of veterans as he aims at returning the Lions to the top of the tough SSC.
Having won at least a share of the last seven Sunshine State Conference volleyball titles, Tampa is once again predicted to win the conference championship in 2012.
The Spartans picked up 192 points in a preseason poll conducted among the SSC's head volleyball coaches and sports information directors. UT also collected 16 first-place votes, the most possible since each school's voters do not rank their own squad.
Rollins, which tied for third in last year's league standings, was picked to finish second, collecting 164 points and the remaining two first-place votes.
Eckerd appeared at No. 3 in the poll with 148 points, followed by Florida Southern with 134. Lynn was close behind the Lions in sixth place with 88 points.
Barry (67), Nova Southeastern (64), and Florida Tech (24) rounded out the preseason poll.
2012 SUNSHINE STATE CONFERENCE PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL POLL
Rank - Team, Points (1st Place Votes)
1 - Tampa, 192 (16)
2 - Rollins, 164 (2)
3 - Eckerd, 148
4 - Florida Southern, 134
5 - Saint Leo, 91
6 - Lynn, 88
7 - Barry, 67
8 - Nova Southeastern, 64
9 - Florida Tech, 24