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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia volleyball team has been picked to finish fifth in the annual Atlantic Coast Conference preseason poll, as released Tuesday by the conference office. Senior Shannon Davis and junior Lauren Dickson have been selected to the All-ACC preseason team.

Coming off an 18-13 season, the Cavaliers share the fifth spot on the poll with Florida State, who went 16-14 a year ago. Clemson, the defending ACC Champion, was selected first in the poll with 143 points and 11 first-place votes. Georgia Tech was picked second with 130 points and the remaining first-place vote, while Duke (119) and North Carolina (102) finished third and fourth, respectively. Virginia and Florida State rounded out the top-five, each collecting 84 points.

Davis enters the 2008 season with her name already in Virginia’s career record books. A middle blocker, Davis currently sits 10th on the total blocks chart with 318 swats. The senior also holds ninth with 259 block assists and is three shy of entering the solo block category.

Davis finished the 2007 season second on the squad with 116 blocks and third on the team with 284 kills. She tallied double-digit kills in 14 matches, including a career-high 18 in a win at Maryland.

Dickson, an outside hitter, missed a portion of last season due to injury. Competing in 15 matches, she tallied 112 kills and registered double-digit kills in seven matches, including a season-best 24 against Miami. She notched three double-doubles, collecting a season-high 14 digs twice.

The 2008 Cavaliers opened preseason camp yesterday, holding a pair of practice sessions in Memorial Gymnasium. First-year head coach Lee Maes is welcomed to the helm by 10 letterwinners from last season and four newcomers.

Fifth-year Beth Shelton and fourth-years Marlow Bruneau and Davis return to bridge the gap between experience and youth on this seasons team, while Dickson, Tara Hester and Brittani Rendina make up Virginia’s junior class. Virginia’s sophomores will be A.J. Cushman, Sydney Hill, Kelly Irvin and Kendahl Voelker. Simone Asque, Kelly Rhein, Hillary Trebels and Tess Udall make up this seasons incoming class.

The Cavaliers open their season Aug. 29, facing Murray State at the JMU Days Inn Invitational in Harrisonburg, Va. Virginia will also face New Hampshire and James Madison in the tournament.

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