A year after winning the program’s first NCAA Tournament match in eight years, LSU’s volleyball team was selected to finish sixth this season in a preseason poll released Wednesday by the Southeastern Conference coaches.
The Tigers were also represented on the preseason All-SEC team by middle blocker Anita Anwusi and outsider hitter Sanaa Dotson.
LSU (16-14) defeated No. 8 seed Hawaii 3-1 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Palo Alto, California and then were swept 3-0 in the second round by host Stanford.
The Tigers received 96 points from the league’s coaches and projected to finish sixth. Reigning co-champion Kentucky had 10 of 13 first-place votes and 142 points and were the choice by the league’s coaches to win the league. They were followed by fellow ’22 co-champion Florida in second with 129 points. Tennessee was third with 113 votes, Georgia with 106 points was fourth and Arkansas with 101 points was fifth.
Anwusi, a graduate student from Houston, was selected to the AVCA’s South All-Region honorable mention team last season. She had a team-high 136 total blocks (1.14 per set), 221 kills (1.86 per set) and .289 hitting percentage.
Dotson, a graduate student from Houston, earned first team laurels on the AVCA South All-Region team with a team-high 436 kills (3.66 per set), 49 blocks, 25 aces and 268 digs (2.25 per set). She also registered nine double-doubles and landed 20 or more kills in five matches in 2022.
LSU opens its ’23 campaign with a pair of matches against UCLA on Aug. 25-26 in the Tiger Classic at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The first match is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. with the second set for 5:00 p.m.