Welcome to the A-10: Fall 2013 cross country and volleyball preview

A look into the fall 2013 season as Mason enters the A-10 conference (photo courtesy of atlantic10.com).
A look into the fall 2013 season as Mason enters the A-10 conference (photo courtesy of atlantic10.com).

The coaches have voted and more preseason polls have been released by the Atlantic 10 conference. As to be expected for newcomers in a conference, it’ll be a tough uphill climb for the Patriots in the Fall.

In their inaugural season of competition, the women’s volleyball team was predicted to finish seventh overall, earning a mere 26 points. The nine A-10 head coaches unanimously selected the defending champion Dayton Flyers to repeat as the A-10 champions.

Duquesne came in second with 64 points, Saint Louis was predicted third with 58, and the VCU Rams were selected fourth with 53 points. George Washington, our friends down the Orange Line, came in fifth with 50 points, while Rhode Island edged out the Patriots for sixth, earning 37 points.

The Lady Patriots return six starters and nine letter winners as they begin the 29th season under head coach Pat Kendrick. After a slow start in 2013, dropping their first three games to Howard, American and Georgetown, Coach Kendrick and her team captured the win Wednesday night against UMBC on the road.

As for our friends who run for fun, the men’s cross country team was predicted to finish tied for third, while the women were picked to finish seventh in the A-10 preseason polls. For the fourth consecutive season, La Salle was predicted to take home the men’s A-10 title after a third place finish last year. The Explorers will be going for their second A-10 Championship in the past three seasons. Richmond was tabbed to finish first on the women’s side, followed closely by La Salle and Saint Louis.

After a successful final season in the CAA, the men’s team has also been ranked tenth by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) in the 2013 Preseason Southeast Regional rankings. The Patriots finished sixth in the region last season, and are the only A-10 team in the region’s top 10.

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