Pitt’s volleyball team is the overwhelming favorite to repeat once again as ACC champions, according to the results of the league’s preseason coaches poll, which was released on Wednesday.
Pitt eared 11 of 15 first-place votes and finished with 192 vote-points, leaving the Panthers as the favorites for the third straight season. Pitt was a co-champion in 2017 and has won outright ACC titles in each of the past two seasons.
The Panthers are followed by Louisville, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Florida State and Syracuse at the top of the coaches poll. Louisville and Georgia Tech both received two first-place votes.
The fall 2020 season will feature an eight-game conference schedule, which the schools in five-team pods. Each team will play its pod-mates twice in a weekend series. Pitt’s pod figures to be the most difficult, as they’ll face No. 2 Louisville, No. 4 Notre Dame and No. 6 Syracuse this fall.
The circumstances of how the championship will be decided is still up in the air. The teams are hoping to be able to play more of a season in the spring after the limited fall slate. The NCAA Tournament will not happen this fall, with hope that it can be played in the spring.
In addition to team accolades, the Panthers received three individual honors. Senior outside hitter Kayla Lund, senior right side Chinaza Ndee and sophomore setter Lexis Akeo were all named to the preseason All-ACC team.
2020 ACC VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Pitt (192 points, 11 first-place votes)
2. Louisville (175 points, two first-place votes)
3. Georgia Tech (172 points, two first-place votes)
4. Notre Dame (158 points)
5. Florida State (145 points)
6. Syracuse (126 points)
7. North Carolina (121 points)
T8. Boston College (89 points)
T8. Miami (89 points)
10. Duke (82 points)
11. NC State (70 points)
12. Clemson (68 points)
13. Virginia (42 points)
14. Wake Forest (28 points)
15. Virginia Tech (18 points)
2020 PRESEASON ALL-ACC VOLLEYBALL TEAM
Amaka Chukwujekwu, Boston College, Sr., MB
Taryn Knuth, Florida State, Sr., MB
Jasmyn Martin, Florida State, Sr., OH
Julia Bergmann, Georgia Tech, So., OH
Mariana Brambilla, Georgia Tech, Jr., OH
Matti McKissock, Georgia Tech, Jr., S
Tori Dilfer, Louisville, Sr., S
Aiko Jones, Louisville, So., OPP
Anna Stevenson, Louisville, Sr., MB
Elizaveta Lukianova, Miami, Sr., OH
Destiny Cox, North Carolina, Jr., OH
Melissa Evans, NC State, Sr., OPP
Charley Niego, Notre Dame, Jr., OH
Zoe Nunez, Notre Dame, Jr., S
Lexis Akeo, Pitt, So., S
Kayla Lund, Pitt, Sr., OH
Chinaza Ndee, Pitt, Sr., RS
Polina Shemanova, Syracuse, Jr., OH