(Posted August 24, 2007)

MADISON, N.J. - The Juniata College women's volleyball team has earned the top spot in the Landmark Conference women's volleyball preseason poll. The poll was conducted by the seven institutions that sponsor volleyball in the newly-formed conference with both the volleyball coaches and sports information directors being polled. Juniata held the top spot with 60 points while the University of Scranton held the second spot and Moravian College held the third position. Juniata is the defending national champion and was also named the top team in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division III preseason poll. The Eagles bring back five starters from a team that posted a 41-1 record in 2006 en route to the national championship. Three of the returning performers were All-Region selections in 2006. Scranton was also an NCAA Tournament participant last season as the Royals finished 27-8 last season and earned 53 points in the poll. Three players who received All-Conference honors will be back in the fold for the team this season, including the 2006 Freedom Conference Player of the Year. Moravian came away with 44 points in the voting to secure the third spot in the poll. Five returning starters are back from a group that went 16-14 and reached the conference and ECAC postseason last year. One of those returning starters was an All-Conference pick in 2006. Susquehanna University holds the fourth spot in the poll as the Crusaders collected 30 points following an 18-21 campaign. The roster features the single-season Susquehanna record holders for kills and digs respectively, and bring back a total of six starters from last season's team including one All-Conference honoree. The Catholic University of America picked up 28 points to finish fifth in the conference poll. The Cardinals were 17-19 in 2006 and reached the quarterfinals of their conference postseason tournament. Catholic brings back three of their top four attackers from the 2006 season. Goucher College was narrowly behind Catholic with 26 points to claim the sixth position in the preseason balloting. The Gophers will feature a young lineup that brings back every starter from the team that went 16-14 a year ago. United States Merchant Marine Academy was picked for the seventh position in the poll with 11 points. The Mariners will have last season's Skyline Conference Rookie of the Year playing a key role as well as the leading attacker and starting setter from the 2006 season. The Landmark Conference begins competition this Fall and will host a postseason conference championship tournament. The first conference volleyball matches will be played on September 22 as part of a conference round-robin held at Juniata. All regular season conference volleyball matches will be played as part of weekend round-robins with one being held at Juniata September 22-23 and one at Goucher October 6-7.

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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.