NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – The Little East Conference volleyball coaches have selected the 22nd ranked Beacons to win the conference title in 2014 with the release of the preseason poll Tuesday afternoon.
The Beacons earned six of the seven first place votes and a combined 48 points. Keene State College, last year's conference tournament runner-up, collected one first place vote and a total of 40 points. In third was Western Connecticut State University with a combined 37 points, and right behind them was Plymouth State University with 35 points in fourth place.
Eastern Connecticut State University was picked to finish fifth after earning a total of 34 points. UMass Dartmouth was selected sixth overall with 22 points, while the University of Southern Maine and Rhode Island College closed out this year's coaches poll with 16 and 13 points respectively.
If the Beacons were to claim the title in 2014, it would mark the sixth straight. Last season, UMass posted an undefeated record during the regular season, before dispatching Western Connecticut and Keene State in the conference tournament. The Beacons would then go-on to win the NCAA Regional Tournament for the second straight season.
Last season, Julia Murphy (Canton, Mass.) led the Beacons offense and the Little East Conference with a .298 hitting percentage. She would earn conference Co-Player of the Year honors and was also recognized by the ECAC and NEWVA. Fellow sophomore Elizabeth Glavan (Edina, Minn.), became the first Defensive Player of the Year in program history after collecting an impressive 5.27 digs per game. An AVCA All-Region honoree, Glavan was named the Tournament MVP at the NCAA Regional in Williamstown, MA.
The Beacons will begin the 2014 season this Saturday at Haverford College (Pa.). Their conference opener is slated for Monday, September 22 at 6 p.m. against Rhode Island College.
2014 Little East Conference Volleyball Preseason Poll
|1. UMass Boston (6)||48 pts.|
|2. Keene State College (1)||40 pts.|
|3. Western Connecticut State University||37 pts.|
|4. Plymouth State University||35 pts.|
|5. Eastern Connecticut State University||34 pts.|
|6. UMass Dartmouth||22 pts.|
|7. University of Southern Maine||16 pts.|
|8. Rhode Island College||13 pts.|
( ) First Place Vote