BABSON PARK, Mass.—Coming off last season's berth in the NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, the Babson College women's volleyball team was ranked 20th when the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) released its Division III preseason poll on Wednesday afternoon.
The Beavers totaled 425 points to finish just behind 19th-place Berry and well ahead of Hope, which came in 21st with 306 points. Defending national champions Emory collected 52 of 67 first-place votes to finish atop the poll, while Calvin, Juniata, Wisconsin-Eau Claire and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps round out the top five.
Babson is ranked for the first time in program history in the preseason poll and just the second time in school history after ending last season at No. 20 in the final AVCA rankings. The Green and White captured its third New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) Tournament championship in five seasons before claiming the Babson Park Regional title with victories over Mount Saint Vincent, Wellesley and nationally-ranked Bowdoin.
The Beavers saw their year come to an end at 26-9 after falling to Wisconsin-Eau Claire in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Ninth-year head coach Eric Neely, who also guided Babson to the NCAA Tournament Potsdam Regional final in 2017, brings back 12 players from last year's squad. The Beavers open the season against Manhattanville and Maine-Presque Isle at home on August 30.