DENTON, Texas (8/25/09) - The North Texas volleyball team was picked to finish sixth in the annual Sun Belt Preseason Coaches Poll released by the league on Tuesday.
The Mean Green garnered 36 points in the poll, just two shy of Louisiana-Lafayette for fifth place. With the exception of the top teams in the West Division, the poll mirrors the final standings from the 2008 season, which was a rebuilding year for North Texas.
NT welcomes back all seven starters and a school-record 11 letter winners along with a trio of talented newcomers to this year's team.
The Sun Belt Conference is one of just six Division I leagues to finish the year with at least two teams in the RPI top 25 (Florida International and Middle Tennessee). The SBC also sent three teams to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in league history.
North Texas opens the season at home this weekend with the Mean Green Volleyball Classic. NT will be in action Friday against UT-San Antonio at 1 p.m. and Northern Colorado at 7 p.m., and will take on New Mexico State on Saturday at 7 p.m.
PRESEASON VOLLEYBALL POLL
1. FIU - 72 points
2. Middle Tennessee - 67 points
3. WKU - 56 points
4. South Alabama - 33 points
5. Florida Atlantic - 23 points
6. Troy - 22 points
1. New Orleans - 87 points
2. Denver - 80 points
3. UALR - 57 points
4. Arkansas State - 51 points
5. Louisiana - 38 points
6. North Texas - 36 points
7. ULM - 15 points
PRESEASON ALL-SUN BELT CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL TEAM
Anita Bucur - UALR
Cayla Fielder - Arkansas State
Yarimar Rosa - FIU
Olga Vergun - FIU
Leslie Clark - Middle Tennessee
Izabela Kozon - Middle Tennessee
Lindsey Loyd - New Orleans
Aquila Orr - WKU
Preseason Defensive Player of the Year > Kacie Wikierak - Denver
Preseason Player of the Year > Yarimar Rosa - FIU