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January 28, 1999

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The University of Virginia softball team was picked to finish third in the 1999 Atlantic Coast Conference softball season, according to a pre-season poll voted upon by all five of the ACC head softball coaches.

Florida State, 50-18 overall, 5-3 (2nd) in the ACC in 1998, was predicted to finish first in the conference after gathering all five first place votes (25 points) to earn the title of pre-season favorite. The Seminoles, ’98 ACC Tournament Champions, return seven of the nine players who started on last seasons team, including ACC Tournament MVP Stacy Venable.

North Carolina gathered second place in the pre-season poll with 18 points. The Tar Heels return six starters from last years ACC regular season championship squad, including Radara McHugh, the ACC Rookie of the Year. UNC finished the 98 season with a record of 32-21 overall, 6-2 (1st) in the ACC.

Virginia edged Maryland for the third spot in the poll after collecting 14 points. The Cavaliers, picked fourth in last years poll, had a solid 98 campaign after finishing 38-28 overall, 3-5 (4th) in the conference. UVas 38 victories was the second highest number of wins in a single season in the history of Virginia softball, and were the most ever by a UVa squad under a first-year head coach at Virginia. The Cavaliers advanced to the ACC Championship game and claimed second place in the conference tournament. UVa returns 14 letterwinners, including seven starters, from last season.

Maryland was tabbed fourth in the poll after accumulating 13 points. The Terrapins finished with a mark of 28-22 overall, 4-4 (3rd) in the ACC last season. Georgia Tech rounded out the poll in fifth place after posting five points. The Yellow Jackets finished fifth in the conference last season with a record of 24-32 overall, 2-6 in the ACC.

1999 Coaches Pre-Season ACC Softball Poll

1.  Florida State (5)    252.  North Carolina       183.  VIRGINIA             144.  Maryland             135.  Georgia Tech          5   
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