Golden Bears open 2019 campaign at SUNY Cortland Red Dragon Classic this weekend
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (August 26, 2019) – The Western New England University volleyball team finished in a tie for fifth place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) Preseason Coaches' Poll, as announced by the league office on Monday afternoon.
The Golden Bears finished in a tie with Gordon College with 42 points in the poll, which is voted on by all nine head coaches in the CCC. Defending champion Wentworth was selected as the preseason favorite with seven first-place votes and 76 points, while Endicott received the final two first-place tallies and checked in at No. 2 with 70 points. Roger Williams (63 points) and Salve Regina (52) followed in third and fourth, respectively, while the University of New England (33), Curry (16) and Nichols (11) rounded out the final three spots in the poll.
Western New England will look to bounce back in 2019 under the direction of fourth-year head coach Samantha Shomo '11. The Golden Bears posted a 9-20 (3-5 CCC) record last fall and finished sixth in the league standings.
Senior outside hitter Ashley Matthews (Salem, N.H.), the 2018 team captain and an All-CCC second team honoree, returns to lead Western New England after averaging 2.67 kills and 2.40 digs per set as a junior. Senior middle blockers Cassandra Holmes (Ellington, Conn.) and Kierah Parker (Middletown, Conn.) will also look to play key roles for the Golden Bears, while senior setter Caitlyn Sibiskie (Rockfall, Conn.) returns to the lineup after missing the 2018 campaign with an injury.
Western New England opens its 2019 season on the road at SUNY Cortland's Red Dragon Volleyball Classic the weekend of August 30-31 with matches against Marywood, St. Lawrence, Rochester, and Lebanon Valley. The Golden Bears return home to host Elms on Thursday, September 5th, before starting CCC play against the University of New England on Tuesday, September 24th.