Western New England opens season next weekend at UC-Santa Cruz Slugfest
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (August 24, 2017) – The Western New England University volleyball team has been picked third in the 2017 Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Preseason Coaches' Poll, which was released on Thursday morning.
Western New England checked in at No. 3 of ten teams in the CCC with 76 points. Defending conference champion Endicott College was selected as the preseason favorite with six first place votes and 95 points, while Roger Williams University took the second spot with 91 points and the remaining four first place tallies.
Salve Regina University (68 points), the Wentworth Institute of Technology (58), Gordon College (57), the University of New England (45), Curry College (27), Eastern Nazarene College (20) and Nichols College (13) rounded out the final seven spots in the poll, respectively.
Western New England enjoyed another successful campaign in 2016, earning a trip to the CCC championship match following five consecutive semifinal round exits. The Golden Bears went 21-10 (7-2 CCC) last fall in the first season under the leadership of head coach Samantha Shomo '11.
Senior outside hitter Emmaline Chiodini (St. Louis, Mo.) is the team's lone returning All-Conference performer after averaging 3.47 digs and 2.32 kills per set during her first season with the program. Sophomore Caitlyn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) will take over setting duties, while classmate Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) will look to follow up her successful freshman campaign at middle hitter.
Western New England plays its first 11 matches of 2017 on the road, including four at the season-opening University of California-Santa Cruz Slugfest on September 1-2. The Golden Bears open their home slate against Elms on September 19, before traveling to Eastern Nazarene for their CCC opener the next day.