South Carolina, St. Thomas Top MCLA Division I, Division II Coaches Polls

PHOTO COURTESY OF MCLA

After advancing to the MCLA Division II national semifinals for the 13th straight time last spring, St. Thomas has been tabbed the favorite to win its seventh title in 2023.


ATLANTA — After grabbing its second consecutive Division I national championship last spring, South Carolina is the heavy favorite in 2023, according to the New Balance Preseason Coaches Poll.

The Gamecocks (17-3), which also won the SELC tournament in 2022, gobbled up 24 of a possible 26 first-place votes to coast to the top spot. South Carolina was followed by Georgia Tech (16-4). The Yellow Jackets fell to the Gamecocks in both the conference and national title games. They accounted for the remaining pair of first-place votes.

Brigham Young (17-3) is slotted third. The Cougars advanced to the national semifinals before falling to South Carolina. Virginia Tech (15-2), which held the top spot in the weekly polls for much of last season, checks in at No. 4, while the Hokies’ ALC rival Clemson (15-5) rounds out the top five.

Both the SELC and ALC posted three teams apiece in the Top 10 while the SLC had four representatives in the Top 15. Last year’s Division II champion Utah resides just outside the Top 25 in its first season back on the senior circuit.

NEW BALANCE MCLA
DIVISION I COACHES POLL

Rank

Team

Points (1st)

1

South Carolina

645 (24)

2

Georgia Tech

621 (2)

3

Brigham Young

590

4

Virginia Tech

575

5

Clemson

523

6

Liberty

508

7

Concordia

483

8

Minnesota

451

9

USC

427

10

Florida

403

11

Grand Canyon

345

12

Arizona

323

13

California

318

14

Boston College

308

15

Cal Poly

270

16

Northeastern

242

17

Arizona State

233

18

Chapman

226

19

Texas

191

20

Colorado

164

21

Utah Valley

155

22

Santa Clara

140

23

Colorado State

107

24

Texas Christian

46

25

UC Santa Barbara

37

Others receiving votes: Utah (19), Boise State (18), Michigan State (15), New Hampshire (13), NC State (11), Auburn (9), Georgia (9), Oregon (6), Texas A&M (6), Dominican (5), Florida State (4), Simon Fraser (2), Stanford (2).






After advancing to the MCLA Division II national semifinals for the 13th straight time last spring, St. Thomas has been tabbed the favorite to win its seventh title in 2023, according to the New Balance Preseason Division II Coaches Poll.

The Tommies (15-4) lost to the eventual D-II champion Utah in the semifinals of the 2022 MCLA National Championships presented by New Balance, but with the Utes matriculating to MCLA Division I this spring, St. Thomas gets the nod.

Rhode Island (12-3) actually recorded more first-place votes in the poll — 15 compared to 11 — but were edged out in total points by four. The Rams fell to Utah 13-7 in the finals in URI’s first-ever visit to nationals.

Sitting in the third spot 63 points behind Rhode Island is Montana (16-6), which also advanced to the national semifinals before falling to the Rams, 15-7.

Grand Valley State (10-4), which was the runner-up in the powerful UMLC behind St. Thomas, checks in at No. 4 in the preseason poll. The Lakers have qualified for nationals 11 straight times, including last year, when they bowed to the Utes in the quarterfinals. Missouri State (11-7) rounds out the top five in the poll.

The UMLC had six representatives in the Top 25, easily leading the field. Five conferences — ALC, PNCLL, SELC, SLC and the RMLC — were all tied for second most honorees with three apiece. The CLC had a pair of reps while the WCLL and LSA had one each.

NEW BALANCE MCLA
DIVISION II COACHES POLL

Rank

Team

Points (1st)

1

St. Thomas

656 (11)

2

Rhode Island

652 (15)

3

Montana

589

4

Grand Valley State

571

5

Missouri State

496

6

College of Idaho

488

7

UNC-Charlotte

476

8

Utah State

453

9

Kennesaw State

452

10

Montana State

382

11

Florida Gulf Coast

372

12

Cal State San Marcos

370

13

North Dakota State

368

14

Dayton

361 (1)

15

UC San Diego

294

16

Minn.-Duluth

284

17

Florida Atlantic

267

18

UC Davis

212

19

Bridgewater State

179

20

Wake Forest

133

21

Northwest Nazarene

120

22

Coastal Carolina

118

23

Northern Arizona

95

24

Air Force

93

25

St. John's

87

Others receiving votes: Denver (49), Miami (43), Loyola Marymount (23), MSU Denver (16), Tulane (15), Maine (12), San Diego (11), Drury (9), Claremont (4), Baylor (4), Charleston (3), Washington-Mo. (3), Chico State (3), UMass-Dartmouth (3), Saint Mary’s (3), Texas A&M D-II (2), UNC-Wilmington (2), Long Beach State (1), Rice (1).

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