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Feb. 5, 2002

GREENSBORO, N.C. – The University of Virginia softball team has been picked to finish third in the 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference Preseason Softball Coaches Poll as voted by the league’s five head coaches. The Cavaliers totaled 14 points in the poll.

Florida State has been tabbed the team to beat as the ACC’s top team in 2002. The Seminoles, who reached the NCAA Tournament last season, received four of five first-place votes in the ACC Preseason Coaches Poll for a total of 24 points. FSU finished the 2001 season 58-12 overall and 7-1 against ACC opponents. Defending ACC Tournament champion North Carolina was picked second in the poll for the second-consecutive year with 18 points. The Tar Heels went 38-19-1 overall and 6-2 in league play. North Carolina was followed by Virginia, who ranked third in the poll with 14 points.

With 12 points, Maryland finished fourth in the voting, and Georgia Tech rounded out the poll with seven points.

Virginia finished the 2001 season with a 52-17 overall record and a 4-4 mark in the ACC. UVa was also 5-5 in Southern Atlantic Softball Alliance play. Fifth-year head coach Cheryl Sprangel’s Cavaliers open the 2002 season February 15-17 at the UNC Triangle Classic in Raleigh, N.C. Virginia’s first game of the tournament is against Ohio on February 15 at 11:00 a.m. The Cavaliers also play UNC Greensboro at 3:00 p.m. the same day.

Virginia also received eight votes (33rd overall) in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Division I Top 25 poll.

The entire ACC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll follows.

2002 ACC Preseason Softball Coaches Poll1.  Florida State      242.  North Carolina     183.  Virginia           144.  Maryland           125.  Georgia Tech        7
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