BEVERLY, Mass. – The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) office announced its preseason coaches' poll on Thursday and the Endicott men's volleyball team earned a share of the top spot with Elms College, the defending conference champions.
Both Endicott and Elms received 60 total points and four first-place votes to rank first among the conference, while Eastern Nazarene (45), NECC newcomer Nichols (35), Dean (33), Newbury (28), Southern Vermont (19), and Lesley (8) rounded out the poll in respective order.
Last season, Elms ended Endicott's quest to capture its sixth straight NECC title with a 3-0 victory over the Gulls on April 14, 2018, in Beverly, Mass. The Blazers, who captured their first conference championship since 2012 last year, will enter the 2019 season ranked No. 15 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason (AVCA) poll.
Meanwhile, Endicott's tie with Elms on this year's NECC coaches' poll marks the eighth straight year that the Gulls have been tabbed preseason favorites in the conference. Endicott is coming off of a 2018 season which featured a 23-4 record, a 12-0 mark in conference play, and a No. 14 AVCA national ranking.
2019 NECC MEN'S VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON COACHES' POLL
T1. Elms- 60 (4)
T1. Endicott- 60 (4)
3. Eastern Nazarene- 45
4. Nichols- 35
5. Dean- 33
6. Newbury- 28
7. Southern Vermont- 19
8. Lesley- 8
Endicott opens up its 2019 season this Friday, January 18 with a pair of matches against Wells (6 PM) and Elmira (8 PM) on day one of the St. John Fisher Classic in Rochester, New York.
(Photo Credit - David Le '10)