Aug. 26, 2008
AUBURN - The Auburn University volleyball team was voted to finish fifth in the SEC Western Division for the third consecutive year by the league's head coaches, conference officials announced Tuesday.
In 2007, the Tigers finished with an 11-20 record, going 3-17 in SEC play to finish sixth in the SEC West. AU returns eight players from last season's squad, four of which were starters, and brings eight newcomers to the team for the 2008 season.
"We are about where we expected we would be," said first-year head coach Wade Benson. "We have to go out and earn the right to be considered one of the top teams, but I am excited to see that the coaches think we are moving forward."
LSU, the 2007 SEC West champion, tops the division with 10 points and is followed closely by Ole Miss in second with 21 points.
Alabama comes in at third (27), followed by Arkansas (41) and Auburn (44). Mississippi State rounds out the division in sixth with 52 points.
In the SEC East, Florida comes out on top with 11 points while also earning the distinction of being the favorite to win the SEC overall crown with seven of 11 possible first-place votes.
Kentucky comes in second with 18 points, followed by Tennessee (33), Georgia (38) and South Carolina (40).
Points were compiled on a 1-2-3-4-5-6 basis for the Western Division and 1-2-3-4-5 for the Eastern Division. Each coach was not allowed to vote for his or her own team and each coach also voted for one team as an overall conference champion.
Auburn opens its 2008 campaign on Aug. 29 with the War Eagle Invitational. The Tigers are slated for a 7 p.m. match against Samford in the Student Activities Center.