Villanova, Pa. -
The BIG EAST 2014 Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released on Wednesday, August 20 and picked the Villanova Wildcats to finish seventh. Creighton was tabbed as the conference favorite with 77 votes and five first-place votes. Defending champions Marquette took four first-place ballots and totaled 71 points for second while Xaiver rounded out the top-three with the last remaining first-place vote and 66 points.
Marquette sophomore Autumn Bailey, 2013 BIG EAST Freshman of the Year was named Preseason Player of the Year and one of seven unanimous picks to the 13-member Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.
Villanova (12-17, 4-12) was described as having a balanced attack for returning for eighth-year head coach Josh Steinbach. The Wildcats will be returning 13 letter winners for the 2014 and five starters after finishing last season in seventh place.
Steinbach and the Wildcats will begin the 2014 season with a friendly intra-squad scrimmage Saturday, August 23, before heading to the JMU Classic (Aug. 29-30) where they will take on Charleston So., Norfolk State and tournament host, James Madison.
The Wildcats will also look forward to hosting the Villanova Classic (Sept, 12-13) at the Pavilion this year with three highly competitive opponents who all saw time in the NCAA Sweet Sixteen last year (Penn State, American and Kansas).
Be sure to follow the team socially on Twitter and Instagram, @NovaVolleyball, and like the Villanova Volleyball Facebook page to stay up to date with the latest offseason news, scores and highlights from the Wildcats.
BIG EAST Volleyball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
Creighton – 77 (5 first-place votes)
Marquette – 71 (4)
Xavier – 66 (1)
Butler – 58
St. John’s – 50
Seton Hall – 43
Villanova – 29
Georgetown – 25
DePaul – 21
Providence – 10
BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year
Autumn Bailey, Marquette, So., OH
Preseason All-BIG EAST Team *
Autumn Bailey, Marquette, So., OH ^
Abbey Bessler, Xavier, So., OH ^
Alex Blair, Xavier, R-Sr., MB
Kelli Browning, Creighton, Sr., MB ^
Lindsey Gosh, Marquette, Sr., RS ^
Shelbey Manthorpe, Seton Hall, Sr., S
Leah McNary, Creighton, Sr., OH
Meghan Niemann, Marquette, R-So., MH ^
Belle Obert, Butler, Sr., OH ^
Karin Palgutova, St. John’s, Jr., OH
Aubree Smith, Xavier, Sr., S ^
Erica Stahl, Butler, Sr., MB
Aleksandra Wachowicz, St. John’s, Sr., OH
* - 13 members because of a tie in the voting
^ - unanimous selection