Nazareth Voted to 'Fly" to 2008 Western Division Title
Jersey City, N.J. -In 2007, three of the four NECVA Tournament semifinalists came out of the Western Division, and Nazareth College, which hosted the event, has been voted as the preseason favorite to win the 2008 NECVA Western Division title, in a preseason vote by the division's nine head coaches. The division will also gain two new teams in 2008.
Nazareth, which received seven of eight first place votes cast, was 23-7 last year and tied for first place at 8-2. The Golden Flyers, who reached the conference semifinals in its third year as a varsity program, received 79 total points.
Eastern Mennonite University has advanced to the NECVA finals in back-to-back seasons, and the Royals hope that 2008 is the year that EMU is able to get over the hump and claim the NECVA championship. The Royals went 22-11 last year and 7-3 in the division. The Royals are picked to finish second in the division, and received the other No. 1 vote and 71 total points.
D'Youville College won more matches than any team in the division last season (25-11, 8-2) and hope to break a trend which has seen the Spartans fall to the eventual NECVA Tournament titleists in consecutive seasons. DYC is picked to finish third, and scored 64 points.
Medaille College always plays a difficult schedule, and despite a 9-14 record last season and 4-6 divisional record, qualified for the NECVA Tournament as the No. 7 seed, giving the Western Division four of the top seven seeds in the 16-team conference event. The Mavericks are again slated to finish fourth in the league and received 52 points.
Philadelphia Biblical University defeated New Jersey City University in a play-in match to grab the final berth in the 2007 NECVA Tournament and the Crimson Eagles (21-14, 1-9) are the coaches' "dark horse" selection this year. PBU is picked fifth and collected 50 points.
Villa Julie College was voted sixth and the Mustangs (10-21, 1-9) tallied 39 points. Lancaster Bible College is one of two new squads to join the division. The Chargers went 6-6 as an independent last season are were voted seventh in the Western preseason poll.
SUNY Institute of Technology is a first-year program and the Wildcats received 25 points, good for eighth in the poll. Hilbert College, which was in the division last season, but did not field a team, was voted ninth with 19 points.
2008 NECVA Western Division Preseason Poll
1. Nazareth College (7)
2. Eastern Mennonite University (1)
3. D'Youville College
4. Medaille College
5. Philadelphia Biblical University
6. Villa Julie College
7. Lancaster Bible College
8. SUNY Institute of Technology
9. Hilbert College
Did not vote: Lancaster Bible College