Men’s Volleyball 2019 Preview: Mountaineers Voted Seventh in NECC Preseason Poll

isaiah backels swinging on the ball with the NECC logo and boxes showing the league teams in their preseason poll ranking

MARSHFIELD, Mass. – The return of Southern Vermont College men's volleyball is just around the corner with the Mountaineers set to begin their 2019 campaign on Tuesday.

The New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) announced on Thursday the results of its preseason poll with the league's coaches selecting SVC to finish seventh in the standings this season.

Head coach Pat Robidoux will lead Southern Vermont for the second-straight year—doing so with a squad which closely mirrors that from 2018. Last season, Robidoux's crew went 2-18 with a 2-10 mark in NECC action.

"My overall expectation this year is to continue growing the program and to get better each day," Robidoux said. "Our only goal is to focus on the practice or match in front of us all season long."

SVC welcomes back seven members from its '18 roster in addition to seeing three new faces in the Mountaineer uniform.

"It's crucial to be bringing back a handful of guys from last year," Robidoux commented. "These guys are grinders, and I'm excited to have them all back in the gym."

The Mountaineers will look to replace the offensive and defensive production provided last year by El Olivares who graduated in May. He was second on the team in kills per set (1.55) and first in digs per set (2.25).

"Losing El is a huge loss for us, but we will have an opportunity for someone else to rise up and be our leader—on and off the floor," Robidoux noted.

Southern Vermont begins the regular season on January 22 with a 7 p.m. road match at Colby-Sawyer College, and the Mountaineers start NECC action on February 8 at Elms College.

Elms College and Endicott College tied for the top spot in the poll with four first-place votes apiece.

2019 NECC Men's Volleyball Preseason Poll

T1. Elms — 60 (4)
T1. Endicott — 60 (4)
3. Eastern Nazarene — 45
4. Nichols — 35
5. Dean — 33
6. Newbury — 28
7. Southern Vermont — 19
8. Lesley — 8

(Parentheses denote first-place votes)