LEXINGTON – The Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M will begin their 50th anniversary season ranked sixth announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in their annual Division II Preseason Top-25 Poll released on Monday afternoon from the association’s offices in Lexington, Kentucky.
Seven-time defending National Champion Concordia-St. Paul picked up 39 of the possible 40 first-place votes for a total of 1,186 points to sit atop of the poll followed by Tampa (1,151), Minnesota Duluth (1 first place, 1,086), 2013 National runner-up BYU-Hawaii (981), Central Missouri (928), West Texas A&M (897), Southwest Minnesota State (861), Cal State-San Bernardino (842), Nebraska-Kearney (783) and Washburn (718) to round out the top-ten.
The South Central Region was represented by WT (6th), Colorado School of Mines (18th) and Angelo State (19th) while Metro State, Colorado Mesa, and Texas Woman’s all received votes in the preseason poll. The Lady Buffs and Belles have battled in the last two Regional Title matches with WT claiming a win in both to advance to the NCAA Elite Eight.
The Lady Buffs claimed the program's 18th conference championship, eighth straight and 15th overall LSC Tournament title along with WT's 13th Regional Championship in 2013 before falling in the National Semifinals in a five set thriller to BYU-Hawaii. The Lady Buffs were 35-4 overall during the 2013 campaign and a flawless 16-0 in league play to mark the 15th time WT has finished the LSC season unbeaten since 1986. WT was picked atop of the LSC Preseason Poll announced on July 22nd with senior Kameryn Hayes being tabbed the league's Preseason Setter of the Year.
The Lady Buff return four starters with Hayes and 2013 AVCA Honorable Mention All-American Lauren Bevan joined by a pair of AVCA All-South Central Region selections Lexi Davis and Lauren Britten. WT head coach Jason Skoch, the 2013 LSC and South Central Region Coach of the Year, enters his sixth season at the helm of the Lady Buffs in 2014 carrying an overall career record of 304-45 (.868, 11th year) including a 168-25 (.863) mark in Canyon.
The Lady Buffs will play 33 scheduled matches during the regular season including 16 Lone Star Conference contests, the WTAMU Fieldhouse "The Box" will see a total of 13 regular season contests during the season with eight of those coming in league play. The 2013 Lady Buffs finished the season with an overall record of 35-4 with a perfect 16-0 mark in LSC play to claim the league title while going 22-0 in the friendly confines of "The Box".
The annual BritKare Lady Buff Classic will kick-off the 2014 campaign on September 5-6 with scheduled matches against Adams State, Colorado Mesa, UC-Colorado Springs and Regis with Texas A&M-Commerce, Eastern New Mexico, Truman State, Texas Woman's and New Mexico Highlands making the trip to Canyon for the regional crossover event taking place at "The Box" and the First United Bank Center.