Tigers Picked to Repeat in Volleyball

The Clemson Tigers have been picked as the team to beat in the upcoming 2008 Atlantic Coast Conference volleyball season, according to the ACC Volleyball Preseason Poll.

The Tigers received 11 first-place votes and totaled 143 points in the poll, which is determined by a vote of the league's 12 head coaches.

Clemson returns five starters from last year's ACC Champion squad that finished at 29-4 and 21-1 in league play.

The Tigers also led all teams with four players named to the Preseason All-ACC Team. Danielle Hepburn was an all-conference honoree in 2006 and 2007 and enters her senior season as, arguably, the top player in the league. Her classmate Jeannette Abbott, also a fixture on the all-conference lists, was selected to the team as well. The outside hitter from Downers Grove, IL has a chance to become Clemson's all-time kills leader this season with 1,420 through three seasons.

Setter Kelsey Murphy and libero Didem Ege were both first-team All-ACC honorees in 2007 and earned league preseason honors on Tuesday as well.

Murphy enters 2008 in fifth place in Clemson history with 2,548 career assists, while Ege could set the record for career defensive saves this season. The native of Istanbul, Turkey owns 1,159 through two seasons with the school record at 1,523.

Georgia Tech is predicted to finish second in the ACC race this year, as the Yellow Jackets earned one first-place vote and 130 points. Duke, an NCAA participant the last three seasons, placed third with 119 points. The league's head coaches voted North Carolina fourth, and placed Florida State and Virginia in a tie for fifth place.

2008 Preseason All-ACC Volleyball Team Clemson: Danielle Hepburn, Kelsey Murphy, Jeannette Abbott, Didem Ege. Duke: Rachael Moss, Jourdan Norman. Florida State: Mira Djuric, Brianna Barry. Georgia Tech: Talisa Kellogg. Callie Miller. Maryland: Mary Beth Brown. Miami: Genny Mayhew. North Carolina: Christine Vaughen, Brianna Eskola. Virginia: Shannon Davis, Lauren Dickson. Virginia Tech: Felicia Willoughby. Wake Forest: Natalie Mullikin.

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