KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The preseason buzz for Tennessee baseball is continuing to grow. The Vols will start at No. 16 in the USA Today Sports Preseason Baseball Coaches Poll.

The poll released Thursday is the highest preseason ranking so far for the Diamond Vols after making it to the College World Series last season.

The Vols are also ranked No. 17 in the Baseball America Preseason Poll, No. 19 in the D1Baseball.com Preseason Poll, and No. 21 in the Perfect Game Preseason Poll.

The Southeastern Conference led all conferences with eight teams ranked in the USA Today poll, including six in the top 10.

UT finished the 2021 season with a 50-18 record and was ranked as high as No. 2 in the nation. The Vols finished the season ranked No. 5 in the final USA Today poll. Tennessee returns 24 players from last season’s team.

The Vols begin their 2022 campaign at home Feb. 18-20 against Georgia Southern. Tennessee will host South Carolina March 18-20 for its first SEC series.