With two straight appearances in the EIVA postseason and six returning starters, including a pair of first-team selections, the Princeton men's volleyball team was picked to finish second in the 2014 EIVA preseason poll.
The poll, announced Dec. 11 by the league office, begins the countdown to the 2014 season, which opens Jan. 28 at Cal-Riverside. Princeton will begin its home season Feb. 7 against IPFW, and will open league play Feb. 13 at Harvard.
Penn State, winner of the last 15 EIVA championships, was picked to win the title in a poll voted on by league head coaches. The Nittany Lions received seven of the eight first-place votes; Princeton received the other one and finished with a total of 20 points in the poll. Harvard was third with 23 points, while George Mason rounded out the top four with 32 points.
"While it is exciting to be picked high among these strong programs, and to have another coach project us to be EIVA champions, our guys know that there is still a lot of work to be done before the season begins," said Sam Shweisky, a former EIVA Head Coach of the Year honoree. "This projection shows that the league believes in the work we have done over the past few years, but we also know it will take more than a preseason poll to win EIVA matches."
Princeton returns six of seven starters from a team that went 9-5 in league play last season. Senior Pat Schwagler and junior Cody Kessel are both former EIVA Newcomer of the Year honorees, and both were on the All-EIVA First Team last season. Senior setter Davis Waddell, juniors Will Siroky (middle) and Tony Ensbury (libero), and sophomore outside Devin Stearns are also returning starters for Princeton, which defeated two nationally ranked opponents last season.