LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The Salisbury University volleyball team will begin the 2013 season ranked No. 22 in the AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll, the association announced on Wednesday.
Salisbury (2012: 37-4, 6-0 CAC) earned 191 points, topping Clarkson (170), SUNY Cortland (151) and Wisconsin-Stevens Point (131) to round out the poll. Defending national champion St. Thomas (Minn.) topped the poll with 47 of the 48 first-place votes.
The other first-place vote went to No. 5 Christopher Newport, who enters its first season as a member of the Capital Athletic Conference. The Captains went 40-3 last season and advanced to the Final Four for the second straight year.
Salisbury is set to play CNU in Newport News, Va. on Oct. 2. The Sea Gulls' 2013 schedule also includes matches against No. 20 Juniata (Oct. 12) and No. 24 SUNY Cortland (Sept. 21).
Salisbury was ranked No. 12 in the final AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll of the 2012 campaign, reaching a new high for the program. The Sea Gulls ended the season with a program-record 37 wins and won three matches in a regional tournament hosted at Maggs Physical Activities Center, before advancing to the national quarterfinals, where they fell to Elmhurst College. The quarterfinal round was the deepest postseason run in program history.
Salisbury welcomes new head coach Justin Turco to the program in 2013. Turco comes to Salisbury having spent the past two seasons at Trinity College (Conn.), where he served as assistant volleyball and softball coach. Over the past two seasons, the Bantams' volleyball program has put together a 31-20 overall record, and advanced to the New England Small Colleges Athletic Conference tournament semifinals in 2011.
Salisbury opens the 2013 schedule at Gettysburg College's Battlefield Classic. The Sea Gulls' first match of the tournament is Aug. 30 at 3 p.m. against Gallaudet.
Click HERE to view the full AVCA Division III Coaches Top 25 Poll.