WINTER PARK, Fla. -- 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. Saint Leo took the fifth slot with 91 points. 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.
The Buccaneers return three starters from a 2011 squad that posted an 11-17 overall mark, headlined by Tania Torres, an All-Newcomer Team selection in 2011.
Steve Hendricks now enters his second year at the helm of the program and, with his first recruiting class, will look to build upon last year’s foundation to battle Tampa and the likes of the SSC.
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