University of Dayton Picked to Repeat as A-10 Volleyball Conference Champions
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The University of Dayton has been selected as the favorite to repeat as the Atlantic 10 Conference volleyball champion according the preseason poll voted on by the league’s 10 head coaches, which was announced Tuesday preceding the start of the season on August 30.
VCU was picked second after winning the regular season title last year, followed by Saint Louis. La Salle was fourth in the poll with 62 points, followed by George Washington (54), Duquesne (52), George Mason (48), and Fordham (30) while Davidson and Rhode Island rounded out the poll with 25 and 24 points, respectively.
Dayton was 12-2 in conference play and 23-8 overall in 2018 beating VCU 3-2 in the championship final for the top spot and the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Flyers return four starters from last year's Atlantic 10 Championship team, including 2018 Rookie of the Year, Alli Papesh. Also returning for 2019 is 2018 AVCA Honorable Mention All-America setter/right-side hitter Brooke Westbeld, who posted five triple doubles which ranked second-most in all of NCAA DI. UD made the program's 13th appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season after defeating A-10 regular-season champ VCU in five sets in the tournament title match
VCU has won the past two regular season titles as well as the 2017 A-10 championship. The Rams hold a 30-2 record against conference opponents over the past two seasons. The team is led by senior Jasmin Sneed, 2018 All-Conference First Team, AVCA All-East Region Team, and AVCA Honorable Mention All-America, and ranked fourth nationally in blocks per set (1.70). Also returning for the Rams are All-Conference Second Team selections Vicky Giommarini, who led the team in kills last season, and Gina Tuzzolo along with 2018 All-Rookie Team member Alyna Draper.
Saint Louis earned the No. 6 spot in the A-10 championship in 2018 after rattling off five wins in its final eight matches before falling to VCU in the second round. The Billikens return six starters including stat leaders in kills, assists, aces, digs and blocks and All-conference First Team selection Maya Taylor and All-Rookie Team selection Giovanna Charles.
The 2019 Atlantic 10 Volleyball Championship will be played at Rhode Island’s Keaney Gymnasium November 22-24. The winner of the championship will advance to the NCAA tournament. Every game of the 2019 championships will be streamed live on ESPN+.
2019 Atlantic 10 Volleyball Preseason Poll
Number in parenthesis indicates first-place votes
- Dayton (8) 98
- VCU (2) 92
- Saint Louis 71
- La Salle 63
- George Washington 52
- Duquesne 51
- George Mason 48
- Davidson 30
- Fordham 28
- Rhode Island 21