NEW HAVEN, Conn. – The Philadelphia University women's volleyball team—the 2015 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) southern division champion—was selected second in the south in the 2016 CACC preseason coaches poll, released by the conference Wednesday.
It its first season under head coach Tim Moyer, Philadelphia went 21-7—a six-win improvement from 2014—and won the southern division for the first time since sharing the division crown in 2013 with a 16-3 record. Moyer was selected as the BSN Sports/CACC Coach of the Year.
The Rams return eight players from the 2015 squad, including All-CACC first team middle hitter Corinne Justus (Allentown, Pa./Emmaus). Justus had a .295 hitting percentage last season, the sixth-highest hitting percentage in the CACC. She was third in the team with 201 kills and second with 69 total blocks (57 assists, 12 solo).
One of four players to appear in all 102 sets last season, outside hitter Courtney Wensel (Bechtelsville, Pa./Berks Catholic) led the team in kills (331), kills per set (3.25), and service aces (54), and third in digs (315). A three-time CACC rookie of the week, Wensel ranked first in the CACC in service aces per set (0.53), third in service aces, sixth in kills per set and points (395.5), and ninth in kills.
Lauren Laucella (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham)—who also played in every set in 2015—contributed 137 kills, a .218 hitting percentage, and 66 total blocks (58 assists, 8 solo)—which was third on the team. Alexandra Harrington (St. Leonard, Md./Huntingtown) finished second on the team, 14th in the CACC, with 369 assists.
In the preseason poll, Philadelphia picked up 78 points and four of the 14 first-place votes.
Wilmington garnered 91 points and eight first-place votes to lead the southern division. Holy Family was third with 70 points and one first-place vote, while Georgian Court took fourth with 63 points and the final first-place vote. Chestnut Hill (41 points), University of the Sciences (25), and Goldey-Beacom (20) completed the division.
In the north, Post—the back-to-back conference champion—sits atop the division with 91 points and nine first-place votes. Bloomfield had 84 points and five nine-place votes to occupy the second spot. Caldwell (70 points) and Dominican (N.Y.) (45) were third and fourth, respectively. Concordia (N.Y.) and Felician tied for fifth with 34 points and Nyack was fifth with 32 points.
Philadelphia opens the 2016 season at the Ram Fest Invitational, hosted by West Chester University, on Sept. 2-3. The Rams will face West Virginia Wesleyan and Millersville on Friday and Daemen and West Chester on Saturday.