The No. 16-ranked Anteaters, who won the South Division and the Big West tournament on their way to the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 in 2013, received two of eight first-place votes, which gave them 24 points.
Cal State Northridge, ranked No. 24, was the top vote-getter with six first-place votes and 30 points.
UCI senior Cameron Iwasa, a co-captain this season after producing seven goals and four assists as a junior, is the 'Eaters' only representative on the 11-player preseason all-conference team.
Coach Chris Volk, who takes over the UCI helm for Kuntz after 17 seasons as an assistant coach for the program, leads UCI into its season opener on Aug. 31 against visiting Pacific.
UCI defeated No. 7-ranked Cal, 3-1, in an exhibition match on Monday.
UC Santa Barbara was picked to defend its title in the conference's four-team North Division. The Gauchos swept eight first-place votes for 32 points. They are followed by UC Davis (20), Cal Poly San Luis Obispo (19) and Sacramento State (nine).
— From staff reports
Anteaters spark Team USA
Two current and two former members of the UC Irvine men's volleyball program helped Team USA win a silver medal at the Pan American Championships completed Saturday in Tijuana Mexico.
Zach La Cavera, a 6-foot-4 opposite who will be a senior in 2015, had seven kills and one ace in the championship match, a 25-15, 25-23, 25-23, loss to Cuba.
La Cavera, the U.S. team captain, had 20 kills, three blocks and two aces in a 28-26, 25-22, 26-24 semifinal win over Puerto Rico on Friday.
All-American libero Michael Brinkley, who will also be a senior next season, had three digs in the final, four digs in the semifinal, and had eight digs in an earlier tournament win over Mexico.
Scott Kevorken, a senior middle blocker at UCI in 2014, had a team-best four blocks and added three kills and one ace in the title match. He had seven kills and one block against Mexico.
Jeremy Dejno, a senior outside hitter for the Anteaters in 2014, was also on the 12-man roster for the Americans, who swept Mexico and Columbia in its first two matches.
La Cavera, Brinkley, Kevorken and Dejno helped UCI win NCAA championships in 2012 and 2013.
Team USA finished fifth at the 2012 Pan American Championships.
— From staff reports