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Friday, August 29, 2014

LIU Post Narrow Favorite to Capture ECC Volleyball Championship

Central Islip, N.Y. - In a tightly contested vote, LIU Post came in two points ahead of Bridgeport as the coaches’ favorite in the 2014 East Coast Conference Volleyball Preseason Poll. Bridgeport’s Biljana Savic (Novi Sad, Serbia) a senior outside hitter/setter has been named the Preseason Player of the Year.

LIU Post finished with four first place votes and 75 points to top the poll. Last season, the Pioneers earned the program's first-ever berth into the NCAA Division II Elite Eight by winning the East Region Championship. LIU Post returns seven players from the squad that finished with a 25-10 record and ranked No. 25 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top 25 poll last season.

Bridgeport, who won their second straight ECC title in 2013, also received four first place votes in the preseason poll but finished two points behind LIU Post for the top spot. The Purple Knights, who finished the season with a 22-3 overall record and a 15-1 ECC mark, advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the sixth straight year. Gary Mullin, who takes over for reigning ECC Coach of the Year, Leo Uzcategui, returns a talented roster with only two players and one starter gone from the Purple Knights' 2013 roster.

Daemen and New York Institute of Technology received 55 points to come in a tie for third in the poll. Daemen, who is not yet eligible for a conference championship berth as NCAA Provisional members, had a successful first year in the ECC. The Wildcats finished with a 23-10 record and a 10-6 mark in ECC play that would have qualified them for the ECC Championship if eligible. NYIT, who made their third straight NCAA Tournament appearance last season, tied for third despite a huge turnover. The Bears lost seven seniors from last year's roster and only return five players in 2014.

Dowling, who comes in at No. 5 with 50 points, received the final first place vote following a season which also ended up with their 12th straight trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Savic earns the Preseason Player of the Year honor after capturing the conference's Player of the Year award last season. The three-time All-Conference First Team selection was a versatile player for the Purple Knights, excelling both as a setter and an outside hitter. She finished in the top 10 in the ECC with a .260 hitting percentage, 578 assists, and 5.90 assists per set. She also finished the season with eight triple-doubles, including two in one week to be named the AVCA Division II National Player of the Week.

2014 ECC Volleyball Preseason Poll
School                         Pts.       2013 Record
1. LIU Post (4)               75         25-10 (11-5 ECC)
2. Bridgeport (4)             73         22-3 (15-1 ECC)
T3. Daemen                   55         23-10 (10-6 ECC)
T3. NYIT                        55         27-7 (12-4 ECC)
5. Dowling (1)                 50         19-14 (10-6 ECC)
6. Roberts Wesleyan      39         12-17 (5-11 ECC)
7. Molloy                        24         9-20 (3-13 ECC)
8. Queens                      21         10-14 (4-12 ECC)
9. Mercy                        13         11-20 (2-14 ECC)

( ) – first place votes

About the ECC
Founded as the New York Collegiate Athletic Conference in 1989 and rechristened the East Coast Conference in July 2006, the ECC was formed to enhance intercollegiate athletic competition among member institutions and to assist them in integrating athletics into their academic program in a fiscally sound way. The ECC is committed to the highest standards of scholarship, sportsmanship, teamwork, and citizenship. Its mission is to promote the total person concept in its student-athletes, which stresses the abilities to excel in academic achievement, athletic competition, and positive character traits. East Coast Conference members include: University of Bridgeport (Bridgeport, Conn.); University of the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.); Daemen College (Amherst, N.Y.); Dowling College (Oakdale, N.Y.); LIU Post (Brookville, N.Y.); Mercy College (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.); Molloy College (Rockville Centre, N.Y.); New York Institute of Technology (Old Westbury, N.Y.); Queens College (Flushing, N.Y.); Roberts Wesleyan College (Rochester, N.Y.) and St. Thomas Aquinas College (Sparkill, N.Y.). Associate Members include: Chestnut Hill College (Philadelphia, Pa.), Dominican College (Orangeburg, N.Y.), and Georgian Court University (Lakewood, N.J.).

The ECC sponsors the following championship sports: baseball; men’s and women’s basketball; men’s and women’s cross country; men’s and women’s lacrosse; softball; men’s and women’s tennis; men’s and women’s indoor track and field; men’s and women’s outdoor track and field; men’s and women’s soccer; and women’s volleyball.

The East Coast Conference is a proud member of the NCAA and Division II. Division II is a dynamic and engaging group of colleges, institutions and conferences of varying sizes and educational missions. Division II members encourage and support diversity; value sportsmanship, fairness and equity; and place the highest priority on the overall educational excellence of the student-athlete.

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