The Central Connecticut volleyball team was selected third in the annual preseason poll of Northeast Conference coaches. The Blue Devils finished the 2011 season third in the NEC with a 20-11 record and an 11-5 mark in conference play.
Sacred Heart took the top spot in the poll and tallied eight of the nine first place votes. LIU Brooklyn was tabbed second after falling to the Pioneers in the NEC title game last season. Robert Morris was selected fourth and claimed the only first place vote that did not go to Sacred Heart.
The final five spots in the poll were filled by Bryant, Saint Francis (PA), Fairleigh Dickinson, St. Francis (NY) and Quinnipiac.
The Blue Devils return a solid core of players that reached the NEC semifinals last season. The 2011 NEC Tournament appearance was the ninth consecutive trip to the playoffs for head coach Linda Sagnelli's squad.
Senior Emily Cochran returns to the court for the Blue Devils after being named to the All-NEC Second Team and the NEC All-Tournament Team last season. Cochran led the Blue Devils in kills (446) and kills/set (3.81). She also contributed 342 digs on the season.
The Blue Devils led the NEC in digs last season with sophomore Brittany Schumacher recording a team-high 496 digs. Senior Blaike King and junior Amalia Ashley also posted more than 200 digs last season.
Senior Jamie Rademacher finished last season 40th in the country in hitting percentage with a .353 mark. Rademacher posted her hitting percentage with 245 kills and 57 errors on 533 total attacks.
The Blue Devils will open the 2012 season on August 24, at the West Virginia Mountaineer Invitational. The following week the Blue Devils will host the CCSU Invitational at Detrick Gym. That event will feature two matches on Friday August 31, and four on Saturday September 1.