Aug. 16, 2011
The MAAC Coaches expect the Siena volleyball team to miss out on the MAAC Tournament for the first time since 2004 this fall. The Saints were picked sixth in the annual preseason poll, released Tuesday morning by the league office.
Sophomore sensation Taylor Akana (Kanehowe, Hawaii) was named to the MAAC Preseason team. Akana earned Second Team All-MAAC honors last season after leading the league and ranking 12th nationally with 4.48 kills per set. She also tallied a team-best 14 double-doubles and her 457 total kills were the sixth most in a single season in program history.
Two-time defending MAAC Volleyball champions Niagara University was the runaway choice to repeat its title, capturing 98 of a possible 100 points in the poll. Canisius received 81 points to finish second. Fairfield finished third with 73 points.
Manhattan was fourth with 67. Marist rounded out the top five with 63 points, followed by Siena (49), Iona (46), Loyola (40), Rider (19), and Saint Peter's (14).
Niagara's Michelle James was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year. James was voted to the All-MAAC First Team in 2009 and 2010. She was also named MAAC Setter of the Year the past two seasons after leading the conference with 10.77 assists per set in 2009 and 10.11 assists per set in 2010. James was named the MAAC Co-Rookie of the Year in 2008.
Joining James on the Preseason All-MAAC Team are teammates Amanda Wilken and Hannah Hedrick, Canisius' Samantha Good and Allyson Severyn, Marist's Grace Hill, and Siena's Akana.