VMI Slated to Finish Fourth in MAAC Preseason Poll
Courtesy: SportsPhotoGuy.com for VMI
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EDISON, N.J. – Coming off its best season in program history last season, the 2018 VMI water polo team has been picked to finish fourth in the conference as voted upon by the league’s eight head coaches for the MAAC preseason poll released Wednesday.

The preseason All-MAAC Team was also announced and featured senior center Shelby Barkley and sophomore goalkeeper Isabel French. In addition, French was named the Co-Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year.

Barkley, from Riverside, California, was placed on the second team All-MAAC her first two years at VMI and last season was named first team All-MAAC after ranking third in the league in goals (86), sixth in steals (58) and fifth in points with 108. In 2017 she broke VMI’s all-time career goals mark on April 8 as she surpassed the previous record of 191 goals. She presently has 207 career goals as a Keydet.

“It’s great to see Shelby and Issi recognized for their ability by the MAAC,” said VMI head coach Ryan Pryor. “They both had tremendous seasons last year and are both very deserving of this acknowledgement. I’m excited to see what they’re able to do this season!”

A native of Naperville, Illinois, French was named last year’s MAAC Rookie of the Year after leading the league in saves with 286 for the year, which ranks second most for a single season in the program record book. She was named MAAC Defensive Player of the Week twice a year ago and twice named the MAAC Rookie of the Week. She played a total of 855 minutes in the cage during the year, third most for a single season in program history.

Iona’s Hannah Schultz was picked as the league’s Preseason Player of the Year, while fellow Iona Gael keeper Britten Vilander was picked with French to be the Co-Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year.

No. 20 Wagner received six first-place votes for 62 points overall in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll. The Seahawks won their fourth consecutive MAAC Water Polo Championship and seventh overall a year ago.

No. 23 Marist College placed second in the Preseason Coaches’ Poll with two first-place votes, and 58 points overall, while No. 24 Iona was selected third in the poll.

The 2018 VMI water polo season begins Friday, Feb. 16 with a match at Washington & Jefferson in Washington, Pennsylvania, followed by the (Mercyhurst) Laker Invitational in Erie, Pennsylvania, that same weekend.


MAAC Water Polo Preseason Coaches’ Poll:
(First place votes in parentheses)
#20 Wagner – 62 (6)
#23 Marist – 58 (2)
#24 Iona – 46
VMI – 39
Villanova – 29
Siena – 26
St. Francis Brooklyn – 20
La Salle- 8

Preseason All-MAAC Team:
Hannah Schultz, Utility … Iona
Grace Doerfler, Center … Marist
Dominique Clark, Center … Villanova
Shelby Barkley, Center … VMI
Erica Hardy, Attack … Wagner
Kimberly Watson, Utility … Wagner

Goalkeeper
Britten Vilander, Iona
Isabel French, VMI

Co-Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year
Britten Vilander, Iona
Isabel French, VMI

Preseason Player of the Year
Hannah Schultz, Iona