After yet another sterling season in 2013, the Clarkson University Volleyball team has continued to gain attention nationally and will being the 2014 season ranked 20th in the AVCA Pre-Season Poll that was released earlier this week.
The Golden Knights, who reached the NCAA Quarterfinals for the second straight season and finished 36-7 in 2013 with a flawless record in the New York Region, will be tested early and often, but the team will begin the season at home on August 29th. Clarkson will host the first of two tournaments on Labor Day Weekend, including the defending NCAA Division III National Champion and pre-season number-one team, Calvin College. The Knights will also face Roger Williams and SUNY New Paltz that first weekend, a pair of teams that were receiving votes on the outside of the top 25.
"We see this pre-season poll as a sign of respect for the program," head coach Johan Dulfer said. "Whether or not it reflects reality, of course, remains to be seen. This year's team will have to work hard to find its identity, and it might take some time, so as always we're going to be more concerned with where we are at the end of the year."
Clarkson will face seven teams that are either ranked or receiving votes in the pre-season poll in 2014, including Calvin College (1), Colorado College (8), Williams, Springfield, Roger Williams, SUNY New Paltz, and New York University.
The Knights won their second straight Liberty League title in 2013, and have either won the regular season chamionship or conference tournament championship in the last three seasons since the Liberty League went to a regular season slate and playoff system starting in 2011. Clarkson was a perfect 14-0 against league opponents in the regular season and post-season, winning 42 sets and dropping only one. The team then won three straight matches in the NCAA Regional Championships for a second straight trip the NCAA Quarterfinals/Elite 8. The team's season was ended in four sets by Cal Lutheran, which advanced all the way to the NCAA Championship game.