The UNC field hockey team will start the season ranked No. 2, according to the poll released Tuesday by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association. Three other ACC teams are ranked among the top 10 and all seven are in the top 20.
North Carolina will open the season Saturday, hosting the ACC-Big Ten Challenge at Francis E. Henry Stadium. UNC will take on No. 17 Michigan at 11:30 a.m. Saturday and No. 11 Wake Forest will play No. 20 Iowa at 2 p.m. The teams will switch opponents Sunday, with the Tar Heels playing Iowa at 11:30 a.m., followed by the Wake Forest-Michigan matchup at 2 p.m.
Maryland will open the season ranked No. 1 after receiving 22 first-place votes from a national panel of coaches. UNC, picked atop the ACC, was next with eight first-place votes. Connecticut, the reigning national champion, is No. 3 with 14 first-place votes. Duke and Syracuse complete the top five with one first-place vote each.
ACC rankings: Florida State, which has won two of the past three and three of the past five ACC titles, was tabbed as the preseason favorite in a vote by the league’s 15 head coaches.
Florida State narrowly surpassed second-place Duke (181 points) and third-place North Carolina (180), with Miami (151) and Louisville (123) completing the top five. Virginia’s 113 points placed it ahead of N.C. State (106), Syracuse (105), Pittsburgh (103) and Virginia Tech (93). Notre Dame (85), Clemson (53), Georgia Tech (40), Wake Forest (39) and Boston College (16) completed the poll.
• The Preseason All-ACC volleyball team includes Emily Sklar (junior, Duke); Jeme Obeime (senior, Duke); Maggie Deichmeister (senior, Duke); Paige Neuenfeldt (junior, North Carolina); Chaniel Nelson, (senior, North Carolina); and Dariyan Hopper (senior, N.C. State).
Swimming and diving
Duke: Assistant coach Dawn Kane has been promoted to associate head coach. Kane enters her 10th season with the men’s and women’s teams.
N.C. State: Pete Renda was named to the 2014 NWCA True Freshmen All-Academic Team. The NWCA annually recognizes student-athletes who excel both on the mat and in the classroom.