Coach George Kuntz's Anteaters, who have made
UCI senior defender Everett Pitts and junior midfielder Christian Santana were named to the 11-player preseason all-conference team.
Pitts was a first-team All-Big West choice in 2011, when UCI finished 16-6-1, 6-3-1 in conference, won the Big West regular-season and tournament titles and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Pitts had one goal as a junior.
Santana had four goals and five assists in 2011. His 13 points (two for a goal and one for an assist) ranked No. 4 on the team.
UCI, which opens its season Aug. 24 at San Diego, is ranked No. 13 in the National Soccer Coaches Assn. of American preseason poll. It's the program's best preseason ranking, topping the 2009 squad that opened at No. 15.
This is the first year of division play in the eight-team Big West, which adds Sacramento State as a conference member in men's soccer this season.
The rest of the North Division poll includes
Teams will play each team in their division twice in conference play, while meeting teams in the other division just once.
UCI is scheduled to face UCSB on Oct. 5 in Santa Barbara.
— From staff reports
UCI picked ninth
The UC Irvine women's volleyball team was picked to finish ninth in the 10-team Big West Conference this season.
The Anteaters, who open their season Aug. 24 at Kansas State, were 10-19 last season when they were 4-12 in conference play to tie for last with UC Riverside in the nine-team Big West.
UCI received 31 points in the 2012 poll, better than only UC Riverside (14).
The remainder of the poll, in order is: UC Santa Barbara and
Cal Poly received the other first-place vote.