Central Islip, N.Y. - In a tightly contested vote by the volleyball coaches of the East Coast Conference, NYIT just beat out four-time reigning ECC Champion, Bridgeport, as the favorite to capture the league title in 2016. In addition, NYIT junior outside hitter Karolina Moderova (Zalesie, Slovakia) has been named the Preseason Player of the Year.
After meeting in the championship game of both the ECC Championship and NCAA East Region Championship in 2015, NYIT and Bridgeport split the first place votes in the conference's preseason poll, with each school earning four. However, NYIT came out on top by a final tally of 60-58.
NYIT finished the 2015 season with a 28-8 record and advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight after winning their first-ever East Region Championship. The Bears return 10 players from last year's squad including the Preseason Player of the Year, Moderova, and the reigning ECC Setter of the Year, Allison Fowler.
Bridgeport is coming off a season in which they compiled a record of 27-9 and won their fourth straight ECC Championship. The Purple Knights return seven players from the 2015 team, including All-Conference First Team selection, Frida Randen, and last season's ECC Player of the Year, Katarina Krstonosic.
LIU Post, who was selected for their fifth NCAA Tournament in the past five seasons with a record of 23-11 in 2015, rounds out the top three of the poll with 48 points.
Moderova had a breakout season as a sophomore in 2015. She ranked second in the ECC with 434 kills, fourth with 3.39 kills per set, and also ranked in the top-10 in the league with 42 service aces, 70 block assists, and 81 total blocks. Her outstanding play earned her a spot on the All-Conference First Team as well as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and Division II Conference Commissioners Association (DIICCA) All-East Region Teams. In addition, Moderova stepped up her game when it mattered most, earning All-Tournament Team honors at the NCAA East Regional to help lead the Bears to their first-ever East Region title.
2016 ECC Volleyball Preseason Poll
|1. NYIT (4)||60||28-8 (12-4 ECC)|
|2. Bridgeport (4)||58||27-9 (15-1 ECC)|
|3. LIU Post||48||23-11 (10-6 ECC)|
|4. Daemen||34||12-17 (7-9 ECC)|
|5. Queens||32||11-15 (7-9 ECC)|
|6. Molloy||28||6-23 (4-12 ECC)|
|T7. Mercy||14||7-26 (2-14 ECC)|
|T7. Roberts Wesleyan||14||2-23 (2-14 ECC)|
( ) - first place votes