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September 1, 2006

Little East Conference preseason polls released in field hockey and volleyball

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 top half 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 shared the LEC regular season title last year, received three first-place votes in this year's balloting and finished runner-up with 132 points. Two-time defending champion Keene State got eight top votes and was predicted to repeat, earning 140 points. Westfield State received the other first-place vote and finished third in the poll with 116 points, and Southern Maine was fourth (86). There are 12 teams competing for the LEC field hockey title. PSU won three straight LEC titles from 2000-02.

The Panther women's volleyball team, which has shared the regular season title the past two seasons and won the tournament championship in 2004, finished fourth in this year's poll with 39 points. Defending tournament champion Eastern Connecticut received seven of the eight first-place votes (62 points) and was picked to win this year's title, while Keene State (54 points) got the other top vote and finished second and Rhode Island College (43) was third.

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:

2006 LEC Field Hockey Pre-Season Poll
1. Keene State (8) 140
2. Plymouth State (3) 132
3. Westfield State (1) 116
4. Southern Maine 86
5. Fitchburg State 84
6. UMass Dartmouth 80
7. Worcester State 79
8. Framingham State 75
9. Bridgewater State 53
10. Eastern Connecticut 47
11. Salem State 29
12. Western Connecticut 17

(first-place votes in parentheses)

2006 LEC Volleyball Pre-Season Poll
1. Eastern Connecticut (7) 62
2. Keene State (1) 54
3. Rhode Island College 43
4. Plymouth State 39
5. Western Connecticut 33
5. UMass Dartmouth 33
7. Southern Maine 12
7. UMass Boston 12

(first-place votes in parentheses)

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