EMU's volleyball men have been picked to finish third in the loaded West Division of the Continental Volleyball Conference. The Royals were voted behind Juniata, last year's CVC Tournament champion, and Marymount, who won the 2017 regular season crown.
Eastern Mennonite earned 22 total points, receiving one first-place nod among West Division teams. The Royals burst onto the scene last year, going 22-11 overall and securing the program's first-ever trip to the CVC Tournament before a tight 3-2 loss in the tourney championship match.
The Royals will be led by new head coach Danielle Lickey, and return ten players and five starters. The All-Conference duo of Micah Buller (Richmond, Va./Douglas Freeman) and William Ragland (North Chesterfield, Va./Thomas Dale) will be at the forefront for the team in 2018. Ragland finished with 286 kills last season while hitting .280 and leading the team with 41 service aces. Buller earned All-Conference honors as a libero, finishing with 225 digs.
Also back is senior Tim Callahan (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin), who finished second on the team with 292 kills, and setter Christian Taylor (Richmond, Va./Deep Run), who led the CVC with 1251 assists. Middle Dan Lutz (Greencastle, Pa./Greencastle-Antrim) proved the best blocker in the conference with 128 total stuffs. The Royals will need to overcome the graduation of outside hotter Scott Brigham and the departure of 2017 CVC Freshman of the Year Josh Elmore.
EMU opens the 2018 season at home next week Wednesday, hosting SUNY New Paltz, last year's national runner-up.
With the new, two-division set-up of the CVC this year, the Royals will play each team in their West Division twice, while play each team from the East once.
For more information on the Continental Volleyball Conference, visit the online home of the CVC at www.thecvc.org.
2018 CVC Coaches Preseason Poll
(#) Denotes First Place Votes
1. Juniata (9) - 36 pts.
2. Marymount - 24 pts.
3. Eastern Mennonite (1) - 22 pts.
4. Southern Virginia - 13 pts.
5. Thiel - 5 pts.
1. Kean (8) - 35 pts.
2. Rutgers-Newark (1) - 26 pts.
3. Ramapo (1) - 23 pts.
4. Cairn - 10 pts.
5. Neumann - 5 pts.