Niagara was slotted fourth in the MAAC preseason volleyball poll, behind defending regular season and tournament champion Fairfield, Quinnipiac and Marist. This is the highest the Purple Eagles have been picked in the preseason since being slotted second in 2012.
Niagara received 69 votes in the preseason coaches' poll, compared to Marist's 73, Quinnipiac's 84 and Fairfield's 98. The Purple Eagles led the conference last season in aces (205) and aces per set (1.71), while ranking seventh and ninth nationally in those respective categories.
On the individual side, Niagara libero Rylee Hunt was named to the preseason All-MAAC Team. Hunt a two-time MAAC Libero of the Year, the first in program history to win the award twice. She finished last year second in the conference with 531 total digs and fourth in the MAAC with 4.62 digs per set. She recorded double-digit digs in 28 of 30 matches. Her season high was 32 digs against Manhattan.
Hunt, a rising senior, currently sits third on Niagara's all-time digs list with 1,656.
The Purple Eagles open regular season play on Aug. 25 in Syracuse.