BOSTON – With nearly every player back from one of the most successful seasons in program history, Suffolk volleyball has been selected to finish seventh by the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) 13 head coaches in the annual poll released Wednesday morning.
The Rams, who look to continue to build off 2017's ledger where they notched the most victories (13) since 2013, garnered 97 points to finish in the middle of the pack.
There was no question for the top three teams as all 13 ballots ranked the top three the same. The favorite comes as no surprise in the unanimous selection in No. 6 Johnson & Wales. The Wildcats, who return all, but one student-athlete from an Elite Eight squad a year ago, which also strung together 35 straight victories and captured their third consecutive GNAC crown, earned 169 total points. Simmons received all every second-place nod for 156 points, while Rivier was predicted to finish third by every head coach to complete the top three with 143 points.
Lasell (116), Regis (113) and conference newcomer Colby Sawyer (99) finished just ahead of Suffolk in spots four through six. The blue-and-gold's seventh-place prediction is the highest in four seasons since the Rams were projected to take seventh in 2014.
Suffolk returns nearly all of its offense highlighted by last season's third-team all-league honoree Hannah Fabiano as well as all-around contributors Talia Lombardo and Bridget Allison. The trio looks to anchor the Rams' as they enter a new era under the leadership of first-year head coach Scott Blanchard.
The Rams will hit the hardwood for the first time in 2018 at the MIT Invitational Sept. 7-8 where they will take on Wellesley, Morrisville State and Colby over the two-day tournament.
|2018 GNAC WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON POLL|
2017 GNAC RECORD