Volleyball Picked Third in Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll

The Central Connecticut State University volleyball team was picked third in the 2010 Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll released on Monday. The Blue Devils finished in a tie for second place during the regular season in 2009. They have not finished lower than third in the NEC since 2003. Defending champion Long Island was picked first followed by Sacred Heart.

FULL NORTHEAST CONFERENCE RELEASE

Head coach Linda Sagnelli and the Blue Devils (18-15, 12-4 NEC last season) seek their first league title in 2010. The Blue Devils, who have reached the NEC Tournament in each of the last seven seasons, do bring back three NEC all stars from last year's team. Reigning NEC Libero of the Year and second team All-Conference honoree Kaitlin Petrella returns for her senior season. She ended 2009 ranked third in the league with 4.33 digs per game and established a new CCSU career record with 1,493 digs over her first three years.

Standout setter Amanda Bayer will pilot the offense again after leading the way for the Blue Devils with 991 assists and 44 service aces a year ago. The senior finished fourth in the league in assists per game (8.54) and third in aces per game (0.38) to earn an All-Conference second-team nod. Joining the senior duo on the court is 2009 NEC Rookie of the Year Emily Cochran. In her freshman campaign the outside hitter/defensive specialist tallied 2.50 kills and 2.75 digs per game, to rank second and third, respectively, on the Blue Devils.

The Blue Devils open the 2010 volleyball season on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 3-4, with a trip to Buffalo where they will play in a tournament with Delaware State, Buffalo and the Naval Academy. They will also play in tournaments at Columbia and Brown to open the 2010 campaign.

FULL 2010 VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE