NORTH DARTMOUTH, Mass. – For the second straight year the University of Massachusetts Boston was the unanimous favorite to win the Little East Conference volleyball title as announced on the 2012 conference coaches preseason poll. The Beacons earned all eight first place votes and tallied 64 points.
Co-regular season champions Plymouth State University was tabbed to finish second this year after earning 50 points. Western Connecticut State University was selected third with 47 points, followed by Keene State College with 42. Eastern Connecticut State University was picked fifth with 28 points, with Rhode Island College right behind them in sixth with 27 points. UMass Dartmouth and Southern Maine rounded out this year's conference preseason poll with 20 and 10 points respectively.
For the Beacons, they are looking to become only the second team in conference history to win four straight tournament titles this fall. Under the direction of eighth year head coach Terry Condon, the 16th ranked Beacons will welcome back senior hitter and three-time All-American Shannon Thompson (Moorpark, Calif.). Perhaps one of the most decorated players in the history of the Little East Conference, Thompson currently ranks as the all-time leader in kills at UMass and has received multiple conference, regional, and national honors during her first three seasons in Boston.
Also adding to this year's roster will be the return of second team all-conference honoree and 2010 LEC Rookie of the Year Corrine Porter (Huntingdon Beach, Calif.). Porter will also be joined by fellow ROY selection in Kirsten Morrison (North Reading, Mass.) who had a big rookie season in 2011.
The Beacons officially begin their season next Friday when they take on California Lutheran University and the University of La Verne in Pomona, California.