Albany, NY–The Sage Colleges' women's volleyball team has been picked first in the race for the 2016 Skyline Conference Championship as voted by the league's coaches. A year ago, the Gators went 22-11 overall and posted a 9-1 mark in the conference. Along the way the team, which is under the guidance of veteran head coach Sandy Augstein-Collins, earned its third straight citation as an AVCA Scholar-Team after also producing a trio of Skyline Conference all-stars.
Augstein-Collin is in her eighth season at Sage and among the many accomplishments last year's team achieved, she helped the squad to a piece of the 2015 Skyline Conference regular-season championship. The Gators have won the Skyline regular-season crown the in 2013, 2014, and 2015, while also capturing the 2014 Skyline Conference Tournament Championship.
The Gators return nine letterwinners from last year's team including 2015 Skyline Conference All-Star senior setter Rachel Liebig (Hartford, NY/Hartford), who had a team-best 925 setting assists in 2015 with 57 aces. She continues her climb in the Gator record book as well. Liebig now has 2,375 career setting assists and ranks third all-time at Sage, while her 159 career aces is No. 8. She ranks No. 98 in Division III with her setting assists and is also ranked in the Top 155 performers in aces.
Sage opens the 2016 campaign on September 2-3 travelling to Oswego State to compete in the Lakers' Tip-Off Classic. Along the way, the Gators will also compete in tournaments this season at SUNY-New Paltz and Skidmore College, while also hosting a tournament on September 16 and 17 in Kahl Gym with Potsdam State, Fredonia State, Skidmore and The College of New Rochelle, all visiting the Albany campus. All told, the Gators will host 13 opponents this season and will host the Broncos of SUNY-Delhi on September 7 in the team's 2016 home opener at 7 p.m.
2016 Skyline Conference Women's Volleyball Coaches' Poll - Points
1. Sage (4) - 113
2. Mount Saint Mary (4) - 102
3. Mount Saint Vincent * (2) - 101
4. St. Joseph's-Long Island (2) - 92
5. U.S. Merchant Marine Academy - 87
6. Farmingdale State - 74
7. Maritime - 69
8. St. Joseph's-Brooklyn - 51
9. Old Westbury - 40
10. Sarah Lawrence - 32
11. Yeshiva - 21
12. Purchase – 16
First-place votes in (parentheses)
*Indicates defending league champion