Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The Elms College women's volleyball squad was selected to finish fifth in the 2016 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Women's Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll, announced by the league office Friday afternoon.
The Blazers are returning four players from their 2015 edition, who posted a 6-18 overall mark with a 2-6 record in NECC play. Sophomore Danielle Redding (Las Vegas, Nev.) will be back after collecting six NECC Rookie of the Week and First Team All-NECC honors in her freshman campaign.
Regis College received nine of the nine possible first place votes, for a total of 81 points and the top spot in the NECC Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll.
The Pride will look to continue their undefeated streak in conference play as they return five starters from 2015 including the NECC Rookie of the Year sophomore Rachel Bartels. Bartels will be helped by junior outside hitters Sydney Trusty and Nicole Connolly.
A tight race found Newbury in the second spot with 65 points, while Lesley was just one point behind with 64. Newbury will look to bounce back after losing to Lesley in the 2015 semifinals. The Nighthawks have a new head coach, but return the reigning NECC Player of the Year, senior middle hitter, Courtney Banks. The Lynx look to bounce back after their five set loss in the NECC Championship, but will be without Danielle McDonald, the 2015 NECC Defensive Player of the Year. Lesley does return five key players in hopes of making a run for the NECC title.
Becker lands the fourth spot with 43 points and hopes to improve on their fifth place finish last season. Head Coach, Rachel Pinak, will look to her four returning starters highlighted by Kayla Dupree who was named to the NECC All Conference Second team. Finishing just behind the Hawks in fifth place was Elms College with 42 points.
Sixth in the polls was Daniel Webster College with 40 total points. The Eagles will look to their first year coach to improve on their semifinal loss in the 2015 season. Daniel Webster returns three All Conference team members including junior Nicole Beard and seniors Hannah Koehler and Maddie Roulier.
Rounding out the polls in seventh place Mitchell College (29 points), eighth place Southern Vermont College (26 points), and in ninth place Bay Path University (15 points).
Women's Volleyball begins their season on Thursday, September 1st with non-conference matchups. NECC schedule begins with eight matchups on Saturday, October 1st.
NECC Women's Tennis Preseason Coaches' Poll
- Regis – 81 (9)
- Newbury – 65
- Lesley - 64
- Becker - 43
- Elms - 42
- Daniel Webster - 40
- Mitchell - 29
- Southern Vermont - 26
- Bay Path - 15