La Verne women start at No. 3

The University of La Verne women’s volleyball team is ranked No. 3 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association 2009 Division III preseason poll released today.

Last season the Leopards finished 27-3, marching all the way to the championship match before losing in four sets to Emory (Ga.).

Emory is starting out at No. 1 with 595 points with Juniata, which lost the semfinal to La Verne last season, second with 555. La Verne tallied 550 points.

The Leopards graduated just two players but one of those was All-American Brianna Gonzales, a two-time SCIAC Player of the Year.

There will however be a major overhaul in the coaching staff as Marlon Sano has taken over from the popular Don Flora, who left for a Division I assistant job. Sano, an assistant last year at Cal State Los Angeles, also hired new assistants as both Flora’s helpers left for other jobs.