ST. LOUIS -- Atlantic 10 volleyball coaches have selected Saint Louis to finish third in the 2018 conference race, the league announced Wednesday.


The Billikens, who finished third in the 2017 A-10 standings, received 80 points. Defending champion VCU (100 points) was a unanimous choice to win a second consecutive conference title, while Dayton (90) was the coaches’ No. 2 pick.


Duquesne (63) and George Washington (61) finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the balloting. Rhode Island (44) was sixth, followed by Fordham (36), Davidson (35), La Salle (23) and George Mason (18).


Saint Louis, led by junior outside hitter Sien Gallop (2017 first-team All-Conference), sophomore outside hitter Maya Taylor (2017 A-10 Rookie of the Year) and sophomore setter Kennedy Cordia (2017 A-10 All-Rookie team), opens the season Friday and Saturday, Aug. 24-25, at the Miami Best Western Sycamore Inn Invitational in Oxford, Ohio. The Billikens play host team Miami, Cincinnati and UC Santa Barbara.


SLU begins its 13-match home schedule by hosting the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic Friday and Saturday, Aug. 31-Sept. 1. The Bills take on Western Kentucky, Kansas State and Marquette in Chaifetz Arena.