The Sooner Athletic Conference released its Coaches Poll, and the Southwestern Assemblies of God University Lions volleyball team found themselves tied at the top of the heap.

SAGU finished tied in the voting for the top spot with Oklahoma City University after the two programs shared the regular season conference championship in 2017.

Both teams collected five 1st place votes and 101 points in the poll.

The 2017 SAC championship represented the first volleyball conference championship for SAGU and head coach Hank Moore. The Lions won a record 30 matches last season and qualified for the National Christian College Athletic Association tournament in Florida.

Moore, who is entering his 18th season as the Lions volleyball coach, is cautiously optimistic about the Lions volleyball chances for the 2018 season. The Lions return several key starters but must absorb the loss of 2017 all-conference performers Jessica Sodich and Paulyae Dawkins.

"Being picked by your peers as the number one team is an honor, but it is preseason and everyone is 0-0," Moore said. "We have a lot to do to be the best team in the Sooner Athletic Conference. There are so many good teams in our conference. To win the conference, you have to play at your best consistently for the entire season. This is going to be a good year and our kids are working hard."

Lions volleyball opens the defense of their 2017 conference championship Aug. 23 against Bellevue University in the opening round of the College of the Ozarks Tournament in Point Lookout, MO.