Princeton will officially be the conference preseason favorite to repeat as it begins its first EIVA title defense in more than 20 years.
The Tigers received seven of eight first-place votes to finish atop the EIVA Preseason Coaches Poll that was released Monday.
Princeton finished last season winning the EIVA regular season championship and then defeated Saint Francis and Penn State in the conference tournament to win its first EIVA title since 1998. In the NCAA Tournament, Princeton beat Barton on the road in the play-in match and then almost upset the No. 3 seed Pepperdine before losing in five games in the opening round.
Among the starters returning for Princeton includes middle attacker and opposite hybrid George Huhmann, the 2019 EIVA Player of the Year. Huhmann ended last season among the national leaders averaging 3.41 kills per game while hitting .344 and spent the offseason competing with the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Princeton received 62 votes to beat second-place Penn State by nine votes.
George Mason and NJIT both received more than 40 votes to round-out the top half of the preseason poll. The Highlanders also were the only team besides the Tigers to garner a first-place vote.
The EIVA season will begin in February and will conclude with the four-team EIVA Tournament in April. The winner of the EIVA Tournament will receive the conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
2020 EIVA Preseason Coaches Poll
2. Penn State
3. George Mason
6. Saint Francis
8. Sacred Heart
EIVA Players to Watch
Charleston: Adriel Roberts, Diego Villafane
George Mason: Hayden Wagner, Sam Greenslade
Harvard: Matt Ctvrtlik, Campbell Schoenfeld
NJIT: Alvaro Gimeno, Julian Meissner
Penn State: Cal Mende, Brett Wildman
Princeton: George Huhmann, Parker Dixon
Sacred Heart: Rob Chatterton, Shawn Tishler
Saint Francis: Michael Fisher, BJ Blair
Players selected by the coach of each team