NEW HAVEN, Conn. (August 24, 2011) – Caldwell College and Holy Family University are the favorites in CACC Volleyball according to the 2011 preseason poll, which was voted upon by the 14 CACC head coaches. Caldwell, the defending Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament Champion, collected 12 of a possible 13 first-place votes to top the North Division balloting. Holy Family was voted first on seven ballots to lead South Division voting.

Philadelphia was picked second in the South with 82 points and four first-place votes. The Rams tied Holy Family for the South Division Regular-Season championship last season before falling to Caldwell, 3-1, in the CACC Tournament semi-finals. It was the first time the Rams failed to advance to the tournament final since 2007. The Rams went 16-3 in conference play last season and 19-9 overall. Mark Magarity returns to lead the squad and boasts a 149-52 overall record in his six seasons at the helm.

Caldwell returns two All-Conference selections in senior setter Lauren Roth and junior right-side Amber Mosher. Roth is a three-time All-CACC performer and Mosher is a two-time All-CACC first team selection. Furthermore, junior libero Maddy Amon was an All-CACC honorable mention last season and junior outside hitter Susan McDonough was the 2009 CACC Rookie of the Year and the MVP of last year’s CACC Tournament.  Megan Hrbek, last year’s CACC Coach of the Year, returns a total of 10 players from last year’s squad that won the program’s first CACC Tournament title and advanced to the NCAA East Region Tournament. The Cougars are looking for their fourth consecutive CACC North Division crown after going 17-2 in conference play last season.

Holy Family topped the South Division poll with 85 points and the Tigers return 10-of-11 players from last year, including All-CACC selections Jillian Keeve and Jordan Beland.  Keeve, a senior, had a career year in 2010 by compiling 403 kills and averaging 3.47 kills per set, which ranked second in the CACC.  She enters this season second all-time in school history with 928 career kills.  Beland, also a senior, finished fifth in the conference in digs with an average of 4.63 per-set.  She concluded last year with 1,521 career digs, which ranks her fourth all-time in program history.  Last year, Holy Family finished tied for first place in the South Division and earned a share of the CACC South Division Regular-Season title for the first time in program history. The Tigers advanced to the CACC Tournament Championship match before falling to Caldwell, 3-0.

Dominican was selected second in the North with 77 points and returns a veteran squad for the 2011 campaign.  Junior setter Whitney Ranger and junior OH Michelle Fiorvanti both return, along with Kristen Loney, who was sidelined with an injury in 2010.  MB Courtney Heard is back along with sophomore Randi Garrett, who had a strong freshman campaign. Ranger was named to the All-CACC Second Team and led the Lady Chargers in assists (899), service aces (68) and ranked third in digs (260). Fiorvanti earned All-CACC Honorable Mention honors and led the team and ranked seventh in the CACC in kills (336), with 2.75 per-set.  Fiorvanti was also named to the 2010 Daktronics East Region second team.