The holiday-time tradition continues for another year of Penn State being the preseason favorite to win a conference championship.
The 16-time defending EIVA champions Penn State received all but one first-place vote to finish atop the EIVA Preseason Coaches Poll released Tuesday.
Penn State finished last season reaching the NCAA Tournament semifinals after going 13-1 in conference play and winning the EIVA Tournament championship. Among the six starters returning for the Nittany Lions includes two Off the Block/Springbak, Inc. Preseason All-Americans — opposite Nick Goodell and outside attacker Aaron Russell.
Princeton was the only other school besides Penn State to receive a first-place vote and finished the preseason poll at No. 2.
The Tigers were only EIVA team to beat the Nittany Lions during the 2014 regular season. In addition, Princeton ended last season reaching the EIVA Tournament championship match for the first time since 2010.
George Mason and Harvard round-out the top-four teams in the conference preseason poll.
The top-four teams in the EIVA standings at the end of the regular season will qualify for the conference tournament beginning in late-April.
Penn State, George Mason, Harvard and Princeton have each qualified for the postseason every year since the 2012 season when the EIVA restructured its conference tournament to the current four-team format.
2015 EIVA PRESEASON COACHES POLL
1. Penn State — 48 (7) points
2. Princeton — 38 (1) points
3. George Mason — 34 points
4. Harvard — 33 points
5. St. Francis — 16 points
6. NJIT — 14 points
7. Sacred Heart — 13 points