American University volleyball is ranked 24th nationally in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division I Preseason Poll, announced Monday.
After its best season in program history, in which the Eagles advanced to the Final 16, head coach Barry Goldberg and AU are primed to defend its Patriot League Title and return to the NCAA Tournament. American ended the season ranked 19th overall in the AVCA poll, its first ever appearance in the rankings.
AU is one of only three teams in the poll to surpass 30 wins last season and is one of only five programs outside the power five conferences to be selected to the preseason list.
Last year, American finished the season 34-3 overall and made its first-ever appearance in the Third Round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, falling to then No. 1 Texas, 3-1, in the Sweet 16. The Eagles posted back-to-back sweeps of Georgia and Duke to earn its first NCAA tournament victories in program history. American won its 11th Patriot League title in 2013 after going 15-1 in conference play. The Eagles also matched the program record for wins during the year and finished with the best winning percentage (.919) in program history.
Goldberg was named the AVCA East Region Coach of the Year and Patriot League Coach of the Year. A number of individual student-athletes also earned accolades for their performances during the season. Rising senior Kristyna Lindovska was an All-America Honorable Mention after earning AVCA East Region honors and classmate Monika Smidova was named the Patriot League Setter of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Lindovska and Smidova were also on the All-Patriot League First Team and were joined by fellow rising senior Kelly McCaddin who was an All-Patriot League Second Team selection.
American begins its 2014 season at home with the annual Bender Blueout, hosting Georgetown on Friday, August 29, in the first game of the D.C. Volleyball Challenge.