Conference coaches are picking Penn State to win a record 15th consecutive EIVA championship during the upcoming season.
The Nittany Lions received six of eight first-place votes to finish atop the EIVA Preseason Coaches Poll released Friday afternoon.
Penn State has won every EIVA championship since 1998 and is only the East Coast school to win a men’s volleyball NCAA championship. In addition, coach Mark Pavlik and his Nittany Lions have not lost a conference match since 2008 — the longest conference winning streak in college volleyball history.
The Nittany Lions return five starters from last year’s Final Four team, including Off the Block Preseason All-American outside attacker Aaron Russell.
George Mason and Princeton were the only other schools to receive first-place votes.
George Mason after advancing to the conference championship match last season finished the preseason poll in second place with 16 points — six points behind the first-place Penn State. Princeton, the last team besides Penn State to win the EIVA championship, came in third place with 25 points.
Harvard in the preseason poll finished in fourth place and is projected to get the final spot of the four-team EIVA Tournament.
The EIVA season begins in January will conclude with the EIVA Tournament in late April.
EIVA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Penn State — 10 (6) points
2. George Mason — 16 (1) points
3. Princeton — 25 (1) points
4. Harvard — 31 points
5. St. Francis — 43 points
6. NJIT — 45 points
7. Sacred Heart — 56 points
8. Rutgers-Newark — 62 points