Rich Tortorelli, Assistant Athletic Director for Communications
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City University has been named preseason co-favorite with Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas) to win the 2018 Sooner Athletic Conference volleyball championship.
Oklahoma City split the SAC regular-season championship in 2017. The Stars (23-7) and Southwestern Assemblies of God finished atop the regular-season standings at 15-1.
Oklahoma City has won the past two SAC regular-season and tournament titles. The Stars hold the top spot in the preseason poll for the third year in a row. Both teams collected 101 points and five first-place votes in the poll of conference coaches. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
John Brown (Ark.) picked up the other first-place vote and 95 points to be third in the poll. Texas Wesleyan came in fourth with 82 points, while Wayland Baptist (Texas) took fifth with 81 points.
League coaches placed Southwestern Christian at sixth place followed by Mid-America Christian in seventh. Oklahoma Panhandle State stood in eighth place, while Central Christian held ninth. The remaining spots were held by first-year SAC member Langston, Science & Arts of Oklahoma and Bacone, respectively.
The regular-season standings will determine seeding for the SAC Tournament, which begins Nov. 6 at campus sites then moves to Oklahoma City University for the remainder of the tournament Nov. 9-10. The SAC regular-season and tournament champions earn bids into the NAIA Championships.
OCU opens the regular season 1 p.m. Aug. 24 against Grand View (Iowa) in the Bill Marshall Classic at Hastings, Neb., under new coach Santiago Restrepo. The Stars’ home opener is 7 p.m. Aug. 28 against Bacone at Abe Lemons Arena.
Sooner Athletic Conference
2018 Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Poll
|No.||Team (First-place votes)||Points|
|T1.||Oklahoma City (5)||101|
|T1.||Southwestern Assemblies of God (5)||101|
|3.||John Brown (1)||95|
|8.||Oklahoma Panhandle State||50|
|11.||Science & Arts of Oklahoma||25|