Related: USA South Release
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. -- Coming off a USA South regular season and tournament title in 2015, the Covenant volleyball team was picked to finish first in the West Division of the USA South as the league unveiled its preseason coaches poll on Thursday.
Covenant and Maryville both picked up an identical 46 total points and four first place votes in the poll to tie for the top spot. Under fourth-year head coach Joanna Ehman, Covenant looks to climb back to the top of the league in 2016 with nine returning players, including four starters, and a strong recruiting class.
Rounding out the top five spots in the division were Piedmont (32 points), Huntingdon (28 points) and LaGrange (27 points). Conference newcomers Agnes Scott (24 points), Salem (14 points) and Wesleyan (seven points) complete the division poll.
In the East, Averett tallied five first place votes and 47 points to claim the top spot. Meredith received three first place tallies and 45 points to place second, while William Peace (35 points), Methodist (31 points) and Ferrum (27 points) finish off the top five.
The 2016 USA South Tournament will once again take place on campus sites. The top six teams from each division will advance to the tournament. The top two overall seeds from each division will host first round and quarterfinal round matches on Tuesday, Nov. 1. The winners of the quarterfinal contests will travel to the highest remaining seed who will host the semifinals and finals which will be played on Nov. 4-5.
Covenant opens the season on Sept. 2 against Millsaps in the Berry Invitational in Rome, Ga.
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