August 17, 2009

Volleyball Selected Third in Northeast Conference Coaches' Poll

The Central Connecticut State University volleyball team was picked third in the Northeast Conference Pre-Season Coaches' Poll, released today. After a quarterfinal loss a year ago, head coach Linda Sagnelli will look to guide the Blue Devils back to the NEC Championship for the first time since 2003.

Long Island and Robert Morris were selected to share the top spot in the poll. LIU, after winning its fifth consecutive NEC title received five out of the nine first place votes, while RMU, last season's regular season champion, recorded three nods for the top spot. CCSU finished ahead of Sacred Heart and St. Francis (PA), who took fourth and fifth, respectively. The Red Flash garnered the final first place vote. New to the NEC standings in 2009, Bryant was picked sixth in the poll, while Fairleigh Dickinson, Quinnipiac and St. Francis (NY) rounded out the nine team poll.

2009 NEC Volleyball Coaches' Poll Release

In 2008, CCSU finished the regular season with a conference record of 5-3 and was the third seed in the NEC Tournament, before falling to sixth seeded Sacred Heart. With an overall record of 11-14, it was the ninth straight season with double digit victories for the Blue Devils.

This year's captains, senior Jamie Baumert and junior Amanda Bayer, will lead CCSU as the Blue Devils look for their first ever NEC crown. Baumert, last season's NEC leader in blocks (114), received All-NEC Second Team honors as well as ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District I Second Team accolades in 2008. Bayer, who was named NEC Rookie of the Year in 2007, will once again lead the CCSU offense as the team's setter. She is currently fifth in Central history for career assists with 2,164.

Central will open the season hosting the CCSU Blue Devil Invitational on September 4 and 5. The squad will take on Manhattan on Friday at 4:00 p.m. and challenge NJIT and Hartford on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., respectively.