Volleyball Selected Fifth in 2019 NAC Preseason Poll

Volleyball Selected Fifth in 2019 NAC Preseason Poll

WATERVILLE, Maine - Husson enters into the 2019 season with a fifth place pick in the North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Preseason Poll, accumulating 24 points, after making an appearance in the NAC semifinals last season. 

Maine Maritime received six first-place votes and 48 points to earn the #1 spot in the NAC Women's Volleyball poll. SUNY Canton snagged the remaining first-place vote and 40 points for second place.

UMaine-Presque Isle (30 points) and NVU-Johnson (29 points) were neck-and-neck at third and fourth.

SUNY Delhi tallied 17 points, and NVU-Lyndon totaled 8 points to finish in sixth and seventh, respectively. Head coaches vote in the preseason poll.

Maine Maritime has won three consecutive conference championships, and shows no signs of slowing down. The Mariners earned the top seed for the 2018 tournament, and cruised to the championship with three-set wins over #4 Husson in the semifinals (25-14, 25-13, 25-17) and #2 SUNY Canton in the championship match (25-13, 25-23, 25-9). Canton advanced to the final round with a three-set semifinal match win over #3 UMaine-Presque Isle (25-20, 25-15, 25-10).

Maine Maritime advanced to the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship, where they lost to Springfield College in the first round.

All seven NAC women's volleyball teams start the season this weekend. The top four teams in the regular season conference standings will qualify for the NAC tournament, which is scheduled on November 9-10 at the top-seeded institution. The final four format will see #1 versus #4 and #2 versus #3 in semifinal matches on Saturday, November 9, with the winners competing in a championship match on Sunday, November 10. The conference champion will represent the NAC in the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball national championship tournament. Follow all the postseason action, including live stats and video, at nacathletics.com.

Click HERE to view the 2019 NAC Volleyball composite schedule. Click HERE to view the NAC Volleyball archives.

Click the school names below to visit team pages, and read on for team previews.

2019 Volleyball Preview

 

1. MAINE MARITIME -  48 pts. (6 first-place votes)

Tricia Carver returns for her seventh season as head coach of the Mariners (22-7, 5-0 NAC). After claiming their third-straight NAC Championship in 2018, and losing no starters from the squad, the Mariners are ready to defend their title in 2019. Leading the Mariners will be 2018 NAC Volleyball Player of the Year, Sydney Adams (Trumbull, Conn.), 2018 Rookie of the Year, Rachel Melampy (Duxbury, Maine) and three-time NAC Defensive Player of the Year Maria Perez (San Juan, Puerto Rico). Also returning for the Mariners is the 2018 NAC Tournament MVP, Alexa Cacacie (Manahawkin, N.J.). The Mariners open the 2019 season against the University of Southern Maine on Friday, August 30.

 
   

2. SUNY CANTON - 40 pts.  (1 first-place vote)

The Roos (14-13, 4-1 NAC) enter their second season in the NAC under first-year head coach Caitlin Grimshaw, who was promoted to head coach after two seasons as an assistant. The team, which reached the NAC championship match a season ago, returns its top six hitters in total kills led by All-NAC First Team player Melissa McMaster (Pittsford, N.Y.), All-NAC Second Team player Marissa Ixtlahuac (Carthage, N.Y.), and Tatum Lafrance (Akwesasne, N.Y.). Defensively, the team returns junior libero and All-NAC Second Team selection Jenna Roat (Penfield, N.Y.). Coach Grimshaw expects contributions from newcomers Gabby Durant (Massena, N.Y.), Katie Kullack (Northport, N.Y.) and Ashton Houppert (Lowville, N.Y.). The Roos open the season with a quad-match on August 30-31 at Cortland with Oneonta and Fredonia.

 
   

3. UMAINE-PRESQUE ISLE - 30 pts.

UMaine-Presque Isle (10-17, 3-2 NAC) looks to have another promising year in the NAC behind key returners, Miranda Washinawatock (Shawano, Wis.) and Maddie Thweatt (Middleton, Idaho). Washinawatock lead the Owls with 216 kills in 2018, while Thweatt lead the Owls with 235 digs. Fourth-year head coach Jonathon Bowman also welcomes a number of new and returning players to the court. The Owls open 2019 on August 30-31 with a quad-match at Babson with Suffolk and Manhattanville.

 
   

4. NVU-JOHNSON - 29 pts.

Keven John, 2018 NAC Coach of the Year, enters his second season at the helm of the NVU-Johnson (10-11, 1-4 NAC) women's volleyball program. The Badgers come off a historic season, in which they recorded the most wins in a season, in program history. Coach John returns First Team All-Conference Selection Nikola Knapova (Presov, Slovakia), who led the NCAA in Aces Per Set in 2018. Overall, the Badgers return six players and bring in nine newcomers that will make an immediate impact. NVU-Johnson opens the season at home with the Vermont Volleyball Classic on August 30-31.

 
   

5. HUSSON - 24 pts.

Husson (5-19, 2-3 NAC) head coach Pat DeBeck returns for his 15th season leading the Eagles, and welcomes ten returners back to his squad. Following a run to the NAC semifinals in the 2018 season, Husson will be guided in 2019 by senior captains Mary Grace Power (Bellerose Village, N.Y.) and All-NAC Second Team selection Hanna Hembrow (Milford, N.H.). Seven fresh faces add depth to the roster. The team begins the season with a cross-country trip to compete in the 2019 Slugfest at UC Santa Cruz on August 30-31.

 
   

6. SUNY DELHI - 17 pts.

Veteran head coach Beau Bracchy enters his 15th season with the Broncos, and their first season competing in the NAC. Delhi competed in the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) in 2018, achieving a 13-12 record and reaching the conference semifinal round. The Broncos return Erica Prindle (Kingston, N.Y.), Haylee Lefebvre (Glens Falls, N.Y.), Shelby Nolan (Ansonia, Conn.), Taylor Tsatis (Neponsit, N.Y.), and Witchney Clersainville (Spring Valley, N.Y.),  and will also welcome in several new faces to the team. The Broncos open the 2019 season with a tri-match at King's College with Yeshiva on September 1.

 
   

7. NVU-LYNDON - 8 pts.

Former NVU-Johnson assistant coach Dana John begins a new era as the first-year head coach at NVU-Lyndon this season. The Hornets (0-22, 0-5 NAC) look to rebound from a tough 2018 campaign and return to the NAC tournament in 2019, as they embark on a path to establish a solid foundation for the program. Returning sophomore outside hitter Emily Clancy (Durham, Conn.) will be counted on to lead a young team. NVU-Lyndon opens the season at NVU-Johnson with the Vermont Volleyball Classic on August 30-31.