After advancing to the NE-10 Championship last season, the Merrimack College women’s volleyball team was picked to finish fifth in the Northeast-10 Conference Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Poll, as announced by the conference office this morning.
The Warriors finished last season with a 17-15 record (9-5 in the NE-10) and qualified for the NE-10 Championship as the No. 7 seed. The Navy and Gold proceeded to upset Saint Rose and Stonehill College en route to their appearance in the championship match. Merrimack gave top-seed and host the University of New Haven all they could handle in a five-set loss.
The two-time reigning champs will begin the year as the preseason favorites. New Haven received 191 points and 10 of a possible 14 first-place votes in the poll. Since joining the conference in 2008, the Chargers have won four of the last six league titles.
Bentley University (174 – 3 FPV), Adelphi University (168 – 1 FPV) and Saint Rose (161 – 1 FPV) were predicted to finished second, third and fourth respectively.
Stonehill (132) came in right behind Merrimack in sixth place. Spots 7-10 belonged to Franklin Pierce University (125), American International College (102), Southern New Hampshire University (89) and Southern Connecticut State University (82).
Le Moyne College (54) was predicted to finish in 11th and Pace University (46) was selected in 12th. Assumption College and Saint Anselm College landed in a tie for 13th with 41 points and Saint Michael’s College (32) rounds out the poll in 15th.
The Navy and Gold open up the 2014 campaign at home on Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. against Southern New Hampshire.
2014 Northeast-10 Volleyball Coaches’ Preseason Poll
1. New Haven 191 (10)
2. Bentley 174 (3)
3. Adelphi 168 (1)
4. Saint Rose 161 (1)
5. Merrimack 137
6. Stonehill 132
7. Franklin Pierce 125
8. American Int’l 102
9. So. New Hampshire 89
10. So. Connecticut 82
11. Le Moyne 54
12. Pace 46
13 – tie. Assumption 41
13 – tie. Saint Anselm 41
15. Saint Michael’s 32
Mike McMahon covers Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report as well as on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN