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AU volleyball team seventh in Empire 8 preseason poll
8/23/12

ALFRED, NY — The Alfred University volleyball team is picked to finish seventh in the Empire 8 Conference in 2012, according to the coaches’ preseason poll released Thursday.

Alfred received a total of 16 points in the poll to finish ahead of eighth-place Utica, which received 12 points. Reigning Empire 8 champion Nazareth received seven of nine first-place votes and 63 points to lead the poll.

Elmira College, with the other two first-place votes and 58 points, was picked second; Stevens (46 points) was third; Ithaca (43 points) was fourth; St. John Fisher (39 points) was fifth; Hartwick (27 points) was sixth; and Houghton (20 points) was seventh. Houghton is in its first year in the Empire 8 and is not eligible to earn the automatic NCAA tournament bid that comes with a conference tournament title.

Alfred is coming off a 2011 season in which the team went 10-17 (1-6 in Empire 8 play). The Saxons, under first-year coach Elaina Braun, open their 2012 season Saturday, Sept. 1, at Cazenovia College. After a tri-match at Hilbert on Saturday, Sept. 8 (vs. Hilbert at 10 a.m.; vs. Utica at noon), AU plays its home opener on Wednesday, Sept. 12, against D’Youville.