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Little East Conference announces preseason field hockey and volleyball polls

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Little East Conference pre-season coaches' polls have been announced in field hockey and women's volleyball, and Plymouth State University is picked to finish in the middle of the pack in both sports. The votes were cast by the conference's head coaches, and the polls were released by LEC Commissioner William M. Moore.

The Panther field hockey team, which tied for seventh out of 12 teams in the LEC regular season last year, received one first-place vote in this year's balloting and finished sixth overall with 76 points (coaches could not vote for their own team). Three-time defending champion Keene State got six top votes and last year's runner-up UMass Dartmouth received five first-place votes and the two schools shared the top spot in the poll with 114 points. Worcester State (89), Southern Maine (84) and Westfield State (82) finished in the 3-4-5 spots, just ahead of PSU. The Panthers are searching for their first LEC Tournament championship since winning three straight from 2000-02; PSU shared the regular season title with Keene State in 2005.

The Panther volleyball team, which tied for third in the LEC last season after sharing the previous two regular season titles, finished in a three-way tie for third in this year's poll with Rhode Island College and Western Connecticut. Keene State received four first-place votes and finished atop the poll, while defending regular season and tournament champion Eastern Connecticut got two top votes and finished second. RIC, WestConn and PSU all finished with 32 points, with Western and RIC each receiving a first-place vote.

The LEC field hockey and volleyball tournaments are scheduled for the first week in November, with the conference champions receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

The complete Little East Conference field hockey and volleyball preseason poll results are listed below:

2007 LEC Field Hockey Pre-Season Poll
1. Keene State (6)             114
1. UMass Dartmouth (5)    114
3. Worcester State             89
4. Southern Maine              84
5. Westfield State               82
6. Plymouth State (1)        76
7. Fitchburg State               54
8. Bridgewater State          52
9. Salem State                    44
10. Framingham State        39
11. Eastern Connecticut     23
11. Western Connecticut    23

(first-place votes in parentheses)

2007 LEC Volleyball Pre-Season Poll
1. Keene State (4)                42
2. Eastern Connecticut (2)    37
3. Rhode Island College (1)  32
3. Western Connecticut (1)   32
3. Plymouth State                32
6. UMass Boston                   25
7. UMass Dartmouth             17
8. Southern Maine                 7

(first-place votes in parentheses)

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