Aug. 1, 2013
RUSTON, La. - Louisiana Tech has been pegged to finish 14th overall in the 2013 Conference USA Preseason Volleyball poll voted on by the league's head coaches in the team's first season of competition in the conference.
The Lady Techsters went 3-27 in 2012 as members of the Western Athletic Conference under the direction of first-year head coach Adriano de Souza. LA Tech will return five starters from last year's squad after losing senior libero Stephany Salas and senior Gabryel Ording, who is now a member of de Souza's staff as an assistant coach.
Of the 15 teams that compete in C-USA volleyball action, five teams earned first-place votes and only eight points separate the top three programs. The Rice Owls lead the way with three first-place votes and 200 points, while defending conference regular season champion Tulsa and newcomer UTSA tied for second place with 192 points.
Rice tallied a 19-12 record a year ago and finished second in the C-USA race with a mark of 12-4. The Owls return their setter, libero and 10 letterwinners.
North Texas was picked fourth with three first-place votes after tying a school record for wins last season with a 26-12 mark. UTEP closed out the top five in the poll, followed by Middle Tennessee in sixth place, while also tallying two first-place votes.
UAB, Marshall, FIU and Tulane rounded out the top ten spots, while Southern Miss, Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, LA Tech and East Carolina completed the 15-team poll.
UTSA senior outside hitter McKenzie Adams was named Preseason Player of the Year and led the way on the 12-member All-C-USA Preseason Team. Adams was named the 2012 Player of the Year in the WAC a year ago. She was joined on the team by her teammate Annie Kunes, a defensive specialist who was named the 2012 WAC Libero of the Year and to the WAC All-Freshman team.
Louisiana Tech's season is set to begin Aug. 30 at the UTA Hilton Invitational in Arlington, Texas. The Lady Techster volleyball team reports for fall practice Aug. 8.
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