There is no doubt for EIVA coaches the team that is the conference preseason favorite.
The defending conference champions Penn State received every first-place vote to finish atop the EIVA Preseason Coaches Poll that was released on Friday.
The Nittany Lions return two all-conference players from last year’s team that won the EIVA Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament play-in match. In addition, opposite Calvin Mende was the only EIVA player to be named to the 2018 Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-American Team.
Penn State, excluding one season, has won every EIVA championship since 1999.
Princeton after reaching the four-team EIVA Tournament last season finished in second place in the conference’s preseason poll. The Tigers received 54 votes — 10 fewer votes than the Nittany Lions.
George Mason came in third place with 45 votes, while St. Francis earned 40 votes to round out the top-half of the eight-team EIVA preseason poll.
This also is the first time so far this season that a conference has unanimously selected a school as the No. 1 team in their preseason coaches poll.
The EIVA season begins in February and the top four teams in the conference standings at the end of the regular season qualify for the EIVA Tournament in April. In addition, the EIVA regular season champions earn the right to play host to the entire EIVA Tournament.
The winner of the EIVA Tournament will receive an automatic berth to the seven-team NCAA Tournament.
2018 EIVA Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Penn State — 64 (8) points
2. Princeton — 54 points
3. George Mason — 45 points
4. St. Francis — 40 points
5. Harvard — 29 points
6. NJIT — 26 points
7. Sacred Heart — 20 points
8. Charleston — 10 points