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Little East announces preseason women’s volleyball poll

Panthers picked to finish second in 2012

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Little East Conference preseason women's volleyball coaches' poll has been announced and Plymouth State University is picked to finish second in this year's race.  The votes were cast by the conference's eight head coaches.

            The Panthers were voted third in last year's poll, and went on to capture a share of the LEC regular season championship, upsetting defending champion University of Massachusetts Boston in a pivotal match.  The Beacons, co-champions with PSU, then claimed the 2011 LEC Tournament championship and received all eight first-place votes in this year's preseason poll to top the voting.

            Western Connecticut State University and Keene State College rounded out the top half on the poll, with the bottom half including, in order, Eastern Connecticut State University, Rhode Island College, the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the University of Southern Maine.

            Plymouth State returns seven veterans from last year's 25-11 squad, including First Team All-Conference outside hitter Casey Stoodley (Salem, N.H.)  Led by second-year head coach Chris Kilmer, the Panthers are hoping to make another run at an LEC title. The Panthers also finished runner-up in the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) New England Tournament last fall, making their 10th straight postseason appearance.

            The LEC volleyball regular season schedule includes one match against the other seven schools.  The conference tournament is the first week in November, with the LEC champion receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament.

            The complete Little East Conference volleyball preseason poll is listed below:

2012 LEC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll

1 UMass Boston (8) 64
2 Plymouth State 50
3 Western Connecticut  47
4 Keene State 42
5 Eastern Connecticut 28
6 Rhode Island College 27
7 UMass Dartmouth 20
8 Southern Maine 10

 (first-place votes in parentheses)

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