The Central Connecticut volleyball team was picked third in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll released on Tuesday. The Blue Devils are coming off an 11-18 record a year, but an 8-8 mark in the NEC, good for fourth place. Central advanced to the NEC Tournament for the ninth straight season.
Head coach Linda Sagnelli enters her 12th season at the helm of the Blue Devils and brings back a veteran squad this season. Second-team All-Conference member Sara DeLacey and 2009 NEC Rookie of the Year Emily Cochran lead the way.
In 2010, DeLacey, a right side hitter, led CCSU and ranked sixth on the circuit with a .308 hitting percentage. In the last match of the regular season against Quinnipiac, DeLacey registered 18 kills and hit .600 to help the Blue Devils clinch a playoff berth.
Cochran, a 5-foot-10 junior, posted a team high 286 kills to finish seventh in the league with 2.86 per game. Another key contributor this year will be junior middle blocker Jamie Rademacher, who ranked second on the team in blocks (92), averaging 0.85 per game.
The Blue Devils open the 2011 season on the road at the Beanpot Classic at Holy Cross on Aug. 26-27. They will travel to the George Washington Tournament on Sept. 2-3 before coming home and hosting the CCSU Invitational in Detrick Gym on Sept. 9-10.
Central was chosen third in the poll behind defending champion Sacred Heart and Robert Morris. SHU received one first place vote while RMU and CCSU each received one.
2011 Northeast Conference
Preseason Coaches Poll
2. Robert Morris (1)
3. Central Connecticut State (1)
4. Long Island
9. St. Francis (NY)
First place votes in parentheses ( ).