Seahawk Volleyball Selected Sixth in CAC Preseason Poll

Seahawk Volleyball Selected Sixth in CAC Preseason Poll

For Immediate Release · By Nairem Moran · nmoran@smcm.edu

Fredericksburg, Va. – The Capital Athletic Conference published its 2017 preseason coaches' poll for volleyball Tuesday morning and St. Mary's College of Maryland shared the sixth spot with Southern Virginia University after the conference coaches' votes were counted.

The Seahawks will have a tough battle in front of them as they look to secure one of the sought-after six conference playoff spots, with the championship game of the 2017 CAC Volleyball Championship Tournament set for Saturday, November 4.

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The University of Mary Washington earned the top spot in the 2017 Capital Athletic Conference Volleyball Preseason Poll. The Eagles, who captured their first CAC title since 1991 last fall, secured seven first-place votes and 79 points to land atop the preseason rankings.

Christopher Newport University, which saw its three-year reign atop the CAC end in 2016, received two first-place votes and 72 points to finish second in the voting among the conference head coaches.

Salisbury University tallied 63 points to finish third in the poll while Marymount (Va.) University was close behind in fourth with 60 points and one first-place nod. York College of Pennsylvania (41 points) rounded out the top five squads, with St. Mary's and Southern Virginia in a tie for sixth place with 38 points apiece.

Frostburg State University placed eighth in the poll with 33 points, followed by Wesley College (15 points) and Penn State Harrisburg (11 points).

2017 CAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll

1. Mary Washington (7 first-place votes)

79 points

2. Christopher Newport (2 first-place votes)

72 points

3. Salisbury

63 points

4. Marymount (Va.) (1 first-place vote)

60 points

5. York (Pa.)

41 points

6. St. Mary's (Md.)

38 points

6. Southern Virginia

38 points

8. Frostburg State

33 points

9. Wesley

15 points

10. Penn State Harrisburg

11 points

In Kelly Martin's first season at the helm of Seahawk volleyball program, St. Mary's posted a 21-12 (5-4 CAC) record last year for the team's first 20-win season since 2012.

Coach Martin has brought in a balanced mix of youth and veteran experience to the fold in 2017 for her second campaign, including three starters and junior libero Marissa Dangler (Smithsburg, Md./Smithsburg).

Dangler and her fellow junior captains Mia Griffiths (La Plata, Md./La Plata), and Hannah Krauss (Severna Park, Md./Severna Park) plus the team's lone senior, Brigid Morris (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson), will look to lead the squad through a challenging schedule which only features eight home matches.

Offensively, the Seahawks should be strong with the return of three of their top-5 attackers from a year ago while Dangler should lead the defensive effort after racking up 4.10 digs per set last season. 

Top Returners

  • Hannah Krauss (Jr., MB) – Led the Seahawks with 81.0 total blocks ... Third on the team in kills (189) and points (245.5)
  • Meghan Kelley (Jr., OH) – Third in the conference in kills (390) while ranking fourth in points (421.5) … Second for the Seahawks in kills and points … Fifth on the team in total blocks (26.0) and aces (16)
  • Brigid Morris (Sr., OH) – Fifth for the Seahawks in 2016 in kills (127), total blocks (26.0), and points (140.0)
  • Mia Griffiths (Jr., S) – Second on the squad with 286 assists … Averaged assists per set
  • Marissa Dangler (Jr., LB) – Third in the CAC with 484 digs ... Second for the Seahawks in digs ... Fourth on the team with 21 service aces ... Fifth with 41 assists

Top Newcomers

  • Grace Seifert (Jr., OH, Cambridge, Md./Salisbury Christian School) – All-conference and team MVP
  • Ellyse Sutliff (Fy., S, Warrenton, Va./Kettle Run) – First team all-conference and team MVP
  • Adair Watson (Fy., MB, Rose Haven, Md./Southern) – Two-year varsity captain 

Key Losses

  • Alli Graf (OH) – AVCA All-America Honorable Mention … AVCA All-North Region … First team All-CAC … Ranked 13th in Division III in points (560.0), 14th in kills (483), 17th in points per set (4.83), and 20th in kills per set (4.16) … Led the CAC in kills, points, points per set, and digs (537) … Second in the conference in kills per set and digs per set (4.63) … Fourth in the league in service aces (48) … Led the Seahawks in kills, points, aces, digs, and double-doubles (20) … Third on the team in assists (71) and total blocks (48.0)
  • Mimi Graf (S/RS) – Second team All-CAC … Ranked 19th in NCAA D3 with one triple-double … Third in the CAC with 825 assists … Fourth in the conference with 8.42 assists per set … Led the Seahawks in assists and double-doubles (20) … Second for the Seahawks with 50.0 total blocks … Fourth on the team in kills (150), points (186.5), and digs (324)

The Seahawks kick off the 2017 season this Friday, September 1 when they travel to Gettysburg College for the two-day Battlefield Classic. St. Mary's will take on conference foe, Penn State Harrisburg, at 3:00 p.m. followed by Gallaudet University at 5:00 p.m.

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