Saints Picked to Finish Second in CVC West Division Preseason Poll

Saints Picked to Finish Second in CVC West Division Preseason Poll

ARLINGTON, Va. - After opening the season with a sweep of Division II Limestone, the Marymount men's volleyball team was picked to finish second in the Continental Volleyball Conference (CVC) West Division Preseason Poll released on Monday.

The Saints were picked behind defending CVC champion Juniata who finished 22-11 a year ago. The Eagles, ranked at No. 6 in the Amercian Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Men's Preseason Coaches Poll, received 36 total points and nine first-place votes.

"The CVC will be as competitive as ever this season," said head coach Dan Liberto. "Juniata and Eastern Mennonite have established themselves as some of our toughest competition along with Rutgers-Newark and a young Southern Virginia program that will surprise a lot of teams this year."

Marymount (1-0), who is ranked at No. 14 in the AVCA poll, received 24 points after finishing with a record of 19-10 overall and 13-1 in the CVC last season. The Saints tied the school record for wins and won the CVC regular season title. The team received 24 total points.

The Saints returned 12 players and five starters from last year, highlighted by seniors TJ Wiechecki and Erich Bratke who were both named All-CVC. Wiechecki led the nation with 438 kills and was named CVC Player of the Year. Bratke was an All-CVC Second Team selection, leading the team with 709 assists and ranking third with 152 digs.
 
Eastern Mennonite, who is receiving votes in the AVCA poll, was picked third with 22 total points and one first-place vote after going 22-11 and advancing to its first-ever CVC tournament. CVC first-year member Southern Virginia was picked fourth followed by Thiel.

A newcomer to the CVC this season, Kean was picked atop the CVC East Division. The 11th-ranked Cougars received 35 total points and eight first-place votes. They went 26-9 overall last season and 9-0 in the Skyline Conference.

Rutgers Newark picked up 26 points and one first-place vote. Another new member of the league, Ramapo received 23 points and one first-place vote. The Roadrunners went 18-12 overall last season and 7-2 in the Skyline Conference.

Cairn was picked fourth followed by Neumann.

"Whoever is standing atop the conference this season will have earned it," said Liberto. "For us, it'll come down to winning a lot of close matches and being able to handle the adversity that comes along with any season."

No. 14 Marymount returns to action on Wednesday with a trip to Springfield, Ohio to take on Wittenberg at 7 p.m. Live stats and video will be available on www.MarymountSaints.com.

CVC West Division
1. Juniata (36 points), 9 first-place votes
2. Marymount (24 points)
3. Eastern Mennonite (22 points), 1 first-place vote
4. Southern Virginia (13 points)
5. Thiel (5 points)

CVC East Division
1. Kean (35 points), 8 first-place votes
2. Rutgers Newark (26 points), 1 first-place vote
3. Ramapo (23 points), 1 first-place vote
4. Cairn (10 points)
5. Neumann (5 points)