PAWTUCKET, R.I. — The Keene State College volleyball team, last year’s Little East Conference tournament runner-up, is predicted to finish third in the Little East Conference, a poll of the league’s coaches revealed Saturday.

The Owls received one first-place vote and 53 total points. UMass Boston received two first-place votes and 56 points to finish second, while reigning regular season and tournament champion Eastern Connecticut State received the other six first-place votes and finished with 61 points.

Keene State (22-10, 5-3 LEC in 2018) returns All-LEC setter Bailey Wilson (956 assists), as well as leading outside hitter Megan Palmer (331 kills), Kelly Hunt (153), Ali McLoughlin (100), and Elizabeth Johnson (95).

The Owls begin the 2019 season at the Springfield College tournament on Friday, where they will face Skidmore College at 5 p.m.