CHARLESTON, S.C. - Charleston Southern was selected seventh overall in the Big South Conference Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll as announced by the league office on Wednesday afternoon.
The Buccaneers received 27 points and one first place vote in the poll after earning a spot in the 2015 Big South Volleyball Championships last season.
"We've continued to improve each year and I believe we have the potential to be competing for a championship," said CSU head volleyball coach Christy Mooberry. "Our dynamic on the court is solid; this team is competitive and hungry. We're returning and bringing in solid talent. We need to stay healthy and really push to put it together fast with so many incoming freshman, but the potential is certainly there and I'm excited to see what we will do."
The Bucs return six players from last season's squad that advanced to the postseason for the first time under Mooberry as CSU looks to take the next step in 2016.
Seniors Connor Malone and Taylor Allman both return for their final season with the Bucs, while junior Kylie Klein and sophomores Madison Martin, Addison Kaderli and Hannah Western will provide depth and experience for a deep CSU roster.
For the first time, High Point University has been chosen the favorite in the Big South Conference's annual preseason volleyball poll by the league's head coaches, while Panthers' junior outside hitter Haley Barnes (Neenah, Wis.) was voted preseason Player of the Year.
Liberty received two first-place votes and 68 points to finish second in the preseason poll. Radford, which garnered one first-place vote, was third in the voting with 58 points, ahead of Campbell (53 points). Winthrop captured the fifth spot with 48 points, ahead of sixth-place UNC Asheville (41 points). Charleston Southern was picked seventh with 27 points (one first-place vote), followed by Gardner-Webb (21) and Presbyterian College (13).
The Bucs open the season on the road at the Catamount Volleyball Classic hosted by Western Carolina in Cullowhee, N.C. on August 26-27. CSU will take on Tennessee Tech, Western Carolina and UAB over the two day event.