ANNVILLE, Pa. - After going a perfect 9-0 in its first season in the Commonwealth Conference and making its second-straight appearance in the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship, the Stevenson women's volleyball team is an unanimous pick to win its second-straight title in the Commonwealth Conference Preseason Coaches Poll released Thursday.
The Mustangs, who finished with a school record 36 wins a season ago and are receiving votes in the AVCA Division III Preseason Poll, received 81 points and all ten of the first-place points. The team is ranked 11 points ahead of second-place Messiah.
Elizabethtown was picked to finish third, followed by Lebanon Valley, Widener, Lycoming, Alvernia, Albright, Arcadia and Hood.
Stevenson opens the season on Friday, August 30 at the Gettysburg Battlefied Classic hosted by Gettysburg College, against Rutgers-Camden at 5:00 p.m. followed by Washington (Md.) at 7:00 p.m. The Mustangs then wrap-up opening weekend against Mt. St. Mary (N.Y.) on Saturday, August 31 at 10:00 a.m. followed by Shenandoah at 12:00 p.m.
The team returns two AVCA Division III All-America Honorable Mention selections in senior Jessica Gieselman (Westminster, Md./Winters Mill) and juniorSamantha Perillo (Wilmington, Del./Wilmington Friends). Gieselman, a two-time AVCA Division III All-American and the 2013 ECAC Division III South Player of the Year, was also named the 2013 Commonwealth Conference Player of the Year. Meanwhile sophomore Imani Hudson (Burke, Va./Thomas Edison) was named the 2013 Commonwealth Conference and ECAC Division III South Rookie of the Year.