Chris Kendrick (@CKendrick86)
ATTLEBORO, Mass. – The Elms College men's volleyball team was selected to finish third in the 2017 New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) Men's Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll, announced by the conference office. The Blazers received 33 total points finishing eight points shy of second-place selection Regis College, while Endicott was selected as the preseason favorite.
The Blazers will look to build upon a third-place finish in conference play last season, posting a 4-6 mark in the NECC and a 12-15 record for the season. Head Coach Sheila Gisbrecht (9th Season) will be returning 10 players from the 2016 squad, including juniors Gabriel Reis Levy (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Daniel Bondarovsky (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil). Reis Levy earned All-NECC First Team honors after ranking second in the NECC in kills per set (2.93) and fourth in total kills with a career-high 275 kills, while adding 154 digs, 40 blocks, and 21 service aces. Bondarovsky claimed All-NECC Second Team status after posting a career-high 281 kills, tied for the league lead, while ranking fourth in kills per set (2.81) and total blocks (67), and seventh in digs with 168.
Endicott College will vie for their fifth straight NECC Men's Volleyball Title, securing the top spot in the Coaches Preseason Poll.
The Gulls earned six out of the seven possible first place votes for a total of 48 points. Endicott will feature a large returning group of talent as well as adding some newcomers into the fold. Highlighting the returners is senior standout Dan Toth, who earned All-NECC First Team honors the past two seasons. In total ten returners will join the Gulls roster, four of which were starters.
Finishing second in the polls was the Regis College Pride, who collected the final first place nod for a total of 41 points. Both the reigning Player and Defensive Player of the year, Brett Krahl and Sean Bisnett, will be returning for the Pride this season. Regis also has two impressive additions to the lineup in junior transfer Wade Robideux and freshman Jayson Vega.
Landing in fourth in this seasons poll is Newbury College with 25 points. Three returners will be in the Nighthawks lineup this season along with some new young talent. Coach Peter Kazlas looks to bring the Nighthawks back to the playoffs this season.
Closing out the polls was Southern Vermont College with 20 points, followed close behind by the new program at Eastern Nazarene College with 17 points and in seventh place Lesley University with 12 points.
NECC teams will begin their seasons with nonconference matchups on Thursday, January 12th, The first conference match up will feature Newbury College traveling to Eastern Nazarene College on Thursday, January 26th.
Men's Volleyball Coaches' Preseason Poll
- Endicott – 48 (6)
- Regis – 41 (1)
- Elms – 33
- Newbury – 25
- Southern Vermont – 20
- Eastern Nazarene – 17
- Lesley – 12
Source: (NECC Athletics)