RICHMOND, Va. — The Elon University volleyball team was projected to finish ninth — last place — in the Colonial Athletic Association's preseason coaches poll released by the league Tuesday.

Elon enters its first year in the CAA after 11 years in the Southern Conference. The Phoenix was 16-17 last year and lost to eventual champion Georgia Southern University in the first round of the SoCon Tournament.

Reigning champion College of Charleston sits atop the CAA poll, receiving six out of nine possible first-place votes. James Madison University and Northeastern University were second and third, respectively.

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Hofstra University was fourth, the University of North Carolina at Wilmington fifth, University of Delaware sixth, Towson University seventh and College of William & Mary eighth.

Elon players acknowledged last week that the team probably wouldn't be ranked very high.

"Coach was talking about how she just sent in the preseason rankings," senior middle blocker Kris Harris said last week. "I think that'll be an eye-opener for us. We're all expecting to be ranked seventh or eighth in the preseason. We're new and a bunch of other sports have also been ranked lower than they probably should be. I think that is good motivation to keep us on our 'A' game."

Elon opens its 2014 season at home Aug. 29 against the University of Maryland.

2014 CAA volleyball preseason coaches poll

1. College of Charleston                 62 points (6 first-place votes

2. James Madison                            52 (2)

3. Northeastern                                48 (1)

4. Hofstra                                             37

5. UNCW                                               36

6. Delaware                                          35

7. Towson                                            23

8. William & Mary                             20

9. Elon                                                    16

(Teams received 8 points for a first-place vote, 7 for second, etc. Head coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.)


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