Volleyball Tabbed No. 19 in Final AVCA Top 25

by Matt Dunaway
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Volleyball Tabbed No. 19 in Final AVCA Top 25

LEXINGTON, Ky. ? The LSU volleyball program closed the 2009 season with a No. 19 ranking in the final edition of the American Volleyball Coaches Association [AVCA] Top 25 poll Tuesday released by the governing body of collegiate volleyball. The Tigers recorded a final ranking for the first time since wrapping up the 1992 season at No. 12 in the nation.

LSU (25-7, 18-2 SEC) jumped into the poll at No. 24 on October 12 after receiving votes in the first seven editions of the poll. The Tigers remained among the nation’s best for the final nine polls of the season getting as high as No. 17 on two occasions.

LSU is one of four SEC teams to finish inside the national rankings. The Tigers are joined by Kentucky [No. 12], Florida [No. 15] and Tennessee [No. 24].

“This is an excellent way for us to conclude the 2009 season,” head coach Fran Flory said. “We’ve certainly done many things during the season that our program hasn’t been able to do since the early 1990s. This is another wonderful step for our program to finish the season among the nation’s elite.”

LSU garnered a No. 15 ranking in the final NCAA RPI as the Tigers compiled an impressive eight victories against RPI Top 50 opponents in 2009.

The Tigers also were a prominent factor in the final NCAA Statistics and ranked inside the NCAA Top 30 in five different categories highlighted by 2.75 blocks per set [No. 11], a .269 hitting percentage [No. 13], and 13.22 assists per frame [No. 21].

Brittnee Cooper tallied a pair of NCAA Top 20 final marks with her .409 hitting percentage and 1.37 blocks per set  to rank No. 6 and No. 17 nationally, respectively. Sam Dabbs‘ 11.33 assists per set checked in at No. 18 among the nation’s setters.

In NCAA Tournament matches only, LSU was tied for second with national champion Penn State among the 64-team field with a .335 hitting percentage. National runner-up Texas led the way in the tournament with a .350 clip, while Cal and Florida were even for fourth place with.331 efficiencies. 

LSU has racked up an impressive 115-38 mark over the last five seasons and earned their first overall SEC championship since 1991. Under Flory, the five-time defending SEC Western Division champions are one of only 20 programs in the nation to appear in the last five NCAA Tournaments. 

Below is the complete AVCA Top 25 poll.

2009 AVCA Top 25 Final Poll

Rank, School (First-Place Votes), Total Points, 2009 Record, Last Week 
1. Penn State (60), 1500, 38-0, 1
2. Texas, 1440, 29-2, 2
3. Hawai’i, 1380, 32-3, 3
4. Minnesota, 1300, 28-9, 11
5. Nebraska, 1232, 26-7, 7
6. Iowa State, 1141, 27-5, 5
7. Stanford, 1100, 23-8, 4 
8. California, 1058, 21-11, 10
9. Michigan, 1012, 27-10, 16
10. Illinois, 982, 26-6, 8
11. Florida State, 921, 31-3, 12
12. Kentucky, 823, 29-5, 13
13. Washington, 751, 24-6, 6 
14. UCLA, 716, 24-9, 9 
15. Florida, 675, 25-6, 14
16. Southern California, 578, 22-10, 15 
17. Colorado State, 516, 25-6, 25
18. Oregon, 437, 20-10, 17
19. LSU, 398, 25-7, 18
20. Baylor, 357, 24-10, NR
21. Texas A&M, 293, 20-11, NR
22. St. Mary’s (Calif.), 242, 23-5, 21
23. Northern Iowa, 204, 31-3, 20
24. Tennessee, 137, 24-8, 24
25. Dayton, 93, 30-4, 23 

Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots: Arizona 62; Saint Louis 24; Ohio 23; Ohio State 18; Wichita State 17; Notre Dame 16; Pepperdine 12; UC Santa Barbara 12; San Diego 5; Florida International 4
 
Dropped Out: Arizona (19); Saint Louis (22)