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National Runner-Up Tennessee Opens at No. 1 in 2014 USA Today/NFCA Division I Preseason Top 25 Poll

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Last season’s national runner-up will start the 2014 campaign at No. 1 as the Tennessee Lady Vols (52-12) received seven first-place votes and totaled 729 points to hold down the top spot in the USA Today/NFCA Division I Preseason Top 25.

The lofty ranking marks the first time the Big Orange has started off a season in the top position as well the initial instance for the program to be rated No. 1 since back on May 9, 2007. 

Defending national champion Oklahoma (57-4) received 17 of 32 possible first-place votes, but trails Tennessee by nine points in this year’s first ranking. National semifinalist Washington (45-17) reaped a single first-place nod to sit at No. 3, while fellow 2013 Women’s College World Series participants Florida (58-9 - six first-place votes) and Michigan (51-13 - one first-place vote) hold down slots four and five, respectively. 

Alabama (45-15) sits at No. 6 with Arizona State (50-12), Oregon (50-11), Nebraska (45-16) and Texas (51-10) rounding out the top 10.

The Southeastern Conference led the way overall with eight total selections, while the Pacific-12 Conference boasted six and the Big 12 Conference three teams in the preseason rankings. The Big 10 Conference, the American Athletic Conference and the Sun Belt Conference each boasted a pair of squads in the listing, while the Atlantic Coast Conference and Conference USA each saw a single team among the top 25.

The USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll is voted on by 32 NCAA Division I head coaches, one representing each conference. Final 2013 records are shown, first-place votes are in parentheses. 

To view the complete USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll, please click this link.