FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart University women's volleyball was picked to finish first in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches Poll, released on Thursday. The Pioneers have also made single-game and season tickets available for purchase.
General admission single-game adult tickets are $6.00 and $3.00 for youth/senior. This year, season ticket prices are $50.00 in the mid court section for the best view of the action. The Pioneers will still be offering group rates for all home volleyball games this year. Those interested in season tickets or group tickets for the 2019 volleyball season, please call the box office at 203-396-TIXX (8499).
SHU women's volleyball will have their first home match on Friday, September 13th at 6 p.m., when the Pioneers play host to NJIT at the Pitt Center as part of the Hampton Inn by Hilton Shelton Invitational. SHU will be playing in three contests during the invitational, but will be selling a package deal where an adult can attend all six games for $25, while it is $15 for youth and seniors.
The Pioneers, who were picked to finish fifth last season, finished 17-10 and appeared in the NEC Championship for the second time in three years. Head coach Rob Machan returns for his 13th season at the helm and returns 11 letterwinners returning from last season's squad, including the NEC Setter and Rookie of the Year selection Sarah Ciszek.
Spearheading the team, Ciszek led the NEC with 932 assists, as well as a league-high 9.41 assists per set average and .347 hit-percentage en route to an All-NEC First Team selection.
The Pioneers also returns red-shirt senior Liisel Nelis, who garnered NEC First Team honors last season. In 2018, Nelis led SHU and finished second in the NEC with 379 kills. Nelis also led the conference with 3.83 kills per set and led the Pioneers with 421 total points.
Along with Ciszek and Nelis, the Pioneers return Makayla Dole, who missed most of last season due to injury. Dole earned All-NEC Second Team honors in 2017, as she landed 404 attacks (3.61 k/s) while earning 457.5 points (4.1 p/s) through a team-tying 112 sets played. She amassed over 200 kills and points in NEC play alone with her kills' total slotting her third amongst other NEC competitors.
The Pioneers were selected as the preseason favorites, garnering four first-place votes. LIU got one first-place vote and was picked second, while Central Connecticut earned two first-place votes and was slotted third. Defending NEC champions Bryant got two first-place votes and was slated fourth, with Robert Morris slotted fifth and St. Francis Brooklyn was picked sixth in the poll. Saint Francis U. was picked seventh, followed by Fairleigh Dickinson and Merrimack.
NEC Women's Volleyball Preseason Poll
1. Sacred Heart (4)
2. LIU (1)
3. Central Connecticut (2)
4. Bryant (2)
5. Robert Morris
6. St. Francis Brooklyn
7. Saint Francis U
8. Fairleigh Dickinson