Season Preview: Volleyball

Season Preview: Volleyball

Looking Ahead to the 2019 Season: 2015 North Atlantic Conference (NAC) Co-Coach of the Year and 2016 & 2017 NAC Coach of the Year Tricia Carver returns for her seventh season as head coach of the Mariners.

"I love my team!" said Carver, "My greatest hope for our team this year is that we are an excellent team, in every sense of the word, that we've got one another's backs, that we build on our strengths and work on our weaknesses."

After claiming their third-straight NAC Championship in 2018, and losing no starters from the squad, the Mariners are ready to defend their title in 2019.

"As always and as we want it, we've got a tough schedule ahead," added Carver. "If our strong upperclassmen leaders fill their roles and empower and build up their teammates along the way, I look forward to following the way of Bill Walsh, and letting the score take care of itself."

Leading the Mariners will be 2018 NAC Volleyball Player of the Year, Sydney Adams (Trumbull, Conn.), 2018 Rookie of the Year Rachel Melampy (Marshfield, Mass.) and three-time NAC Defensive Player of the Year Maria Perez (San Juan, Puerto Rico).

Also returning for the Mariners is the 2018 NAC Tournament MVP and First Team All-NAC selection, Alexa Cacacie (Manahawkin, N.J.).

Season Opener: The Mariners open the 2019 season against the University of Southern Maine on Friday, August 30 at the University of New England and will face both Saint Joseph's College of Maine and UNE on Saturday beginning at 2:00 pm.

Against USM, UNE and Saint Joe's: The Huskies are 9-7 overall over the Mariners, the two teams split last season's meetings.

The Monks are 12-6 all-time against the Mariners. Maine Maritime defeated the Monks last season 3-0, in Castine.

The Nor'easters are 6-3 all-time against the Mariners, but the Mariners have taken two of the last three meetings, including a 3-0 win last season in Castine.

Conference Play: The Mariners will head to SUNY Delhi for their North Atlantic Conference (NAC) opener on October 19, to face the Broncos and SUNY-Canton in a rematch of last year's NAC Championship game. Maine Maritime will host Husson for a NAC matchup on Wednesday, October 23 before hosting NVU-Lyndon and NVU-Johnson on Saturday, October 26 for a NAC playdate.

NAC Preseason Poll: Maine Maritime received six first-place votes and 48 points to earn the top spot in the NAC Women's Volleyball preseason poll. SUNY Canton snagged the remaining first-place vote and 40 points for second place.

UMaine-Presque Isle (30 points) and NVU-Johnson (29 points) were neck-and-neck at third and fourth, respectively, with Husson (24 points) not far behind in fifth place.

SUNY Delhi tallied 17 points, and NVU-Lyndon totaled 8 points to finish in sixth and seventh, respectively.

Voting for the preseason poll was conducted among the league's head volleyball coaches.

Maine Maritime has won three consecutive conference championships, and shows no signs of slowing down. The Mariners earned the top seed for the 2018 tournament, and cruised to the championship with three-set wins over #4 Husson in the semifinals (25-14, 25-13, 25-17) and #2 SUNY Canton in the championship match (25-13, 25-23, 25-9).

Maine Maritime advanced to the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball Championship, where they lost to Springfield College in the first round.

All seven NAC women's volleyball teams start the season this weekend. The top four teams in the regular season conference standings will qualify for the NAC tournament, which is scheduled for November 9-10 at the top-seeded institution. The final four format will see #1 versus #4 and #2 versus #3 in semifinal matches on Saturday, November 9, with the winners competing in a championship match on Sunday, November 10.

The conference champion will represent the NAC in the NCAA Division III Women's Volleyball national championship tournament.

2019 NAC Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll

1. Maine Maritime Academy 48 (6)
2. SUNY Canton 40 (1)
3. UMaine-Presque Isle 30
4. NVU-Johnson 29
5. Husson 24
6. SUNY-Delhi 17
7. NVU-Lyndon 8

Click HERE to view the complete NAC Preseason Poll.

Looking Back at 2018: Last season the Mariners went 22-7 overall and a perfect 5-0 in the conference. The Mariners clinched their third-straight NAC Championship, the program's seventh overall, and earned an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Volleyball Tournament for the third-consecutive year. The Mariners fell to Springfield in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.