Springfield received 14 out of a possible 16 first-place votes as it totaled 236 points in the preseason poll. National runner-up Carthage College ranks second with one first-place vote and 203 total points, followed by Juniata College, who earned the other first-place tally en route to 189 points. UC Santa Cruz and Stevens round out the top five.
This season, Springfield's schedule is filled with teams ranked in the preseason national poll. Highlighting the schedule includes Springfield's home opener on Feb. 1 against third-ranked Juniata in the Volleyball Hall of Fame Morgan Classic. The Pride is also scheduled to take on fifth-ranked Stevens as well as No. 7 Rivier, No. 8 NYU, No. 9 MIT, No. 10 Medaille, No. 11 Vassar, No. 12 Kean, No. 13 Baruch, and No. 14 Hunter.
Springfield will also square off against Emmanuel, SUNY New Paltz, and Elms, all of which are among teams receiving votes in the national poll.
The Pride return all seven starters from a team that went 33-5 a season ago and captured the inaugural NCAA Division III Men's Volleyball National Championship.
Springfield will open up its season for the fourth-straight year on the West Coast. On January 19, the Pride will play a double header, taking on Division I foe California Baptist before battling Concordia-Irvine.