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Aug. 18, 2009

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The South Carolina volleyball team ranked fourth in the Southeastern Conference Eastern Division in a poll of the league’s coaches, the conference office sent out today. The Gamecocks are expected to finish in the same spot as they did last year when they went 21-9 overall and 12-8 in league play.

Head coach Ben Somera brings back five starters and his libero from last year’s squad that finished fifth overall in the league and fourth in its division. Yesterday, the SEC released that senior outside hitter Ivana Kujundzic earned a spot on its nine-member Preseason All-SEC team.

Florida, who has won 18 league championships, is picked to repeat in the Eastern Division again, followed by Kentucky and Tennessee. Behind the Gamecocks is Georgia, which is a swap in order for the two schools from last year’s poll. LSU is once again the preseason favorite in the West, followed by Mississippi, Alabama, Auburn, Arkansas and Mississippi State. Florida was also selected as the favorite to grab the overall crown again, with Kentucky and Tennessee also garnering votes.

The Gamecocks open up the 2009 campaign at archrival Clemson on Friday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.

2009 SEC Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll
(Firsr-Place Votes in Parentheses)

SEC Champion: Florida (7), Kentucky (3), Tennessee (1).

SEC East
Florida (7), 16
Kentucky (3), 17
Tennessee (1), 25
South Carolina, 36
Georgia, 46

SEC West
LSU (10), 10
Mississippi, 24
Alabama, 25
Auburn, 41
Arkansas, 44
Mississippi State, 51