LakePoint, Ga. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) released its preseason Beach Volleyball rankings for the upcoming 2017 season, and the Coastal Collegiate Sports Association (CCSA) was well represented among the top-10 teams. Florida State came in ranked second, while Georgia State and LSU were also among the top-10.
The Seminoles, runners up in the first-ever NCAA Beach Volleyball Championship last season, enter the 2017 season as the preseason No. 2-ranked squad. 2016 AVCA National Beach Volleyball Coach of the Year, Brooke Niles, has another strong team together and will look to make it not only back to the NCAA Championship, but to take that next step to get to the top. The Seminoles finished last season with a 32-3 record and claimed the inaugural CCSA Conference Championship title as well.
Georgia State is ranked No. 8 in the preseason poll, following an outstanding season in 2016. The Panthers finished with a 26-10 mark, and were runners up in the CCSA Championship to the Seminoles. They also participated in the inaugural NCAA Championship last spring in Gulf Shores, Ala. 2016 CCSA Coach of the Year, Beth Van Fleet has another strong team together and will play a tough schedule in hopes of preparing them for another postseason run.
The third CCSA team to be nationally ranked in the AVCA Prseason poll is LSU, coming off a 20-9 campaign. Russell Brock, who served as assistant head coach for the past three seasons, was promoted during the offseason to lead the Tigers in 2017. During his three-year tenure as an assistant, the Tigers have increased their win total each season and finished last year in this same spot, ranked No. 10 in the national polls, their highest in program history. This year's team boasts a good mix of young and veteran players as the Tigers look for another 20+ win season.
Florida International was ranked No. 11, while Tulane came in at No. 15 in the preseason poll. Florida Atlantic and South Carolina were among those schools receiving votes, giving the CCSA a total of seven schools represented in the preseason poll.