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Geneseo ranked No. 1 in SUNYAC softball preseason poll

Geneseo ranked No. 1 in SUNYAC softball preseason poll

CORTLAND, N.Y. - The State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) has released its 2019 softball preseason coaches poll, with the Geneseo Knights have received the most votes to land in the No. 1 spot with 76 points. Cortland ranks just behind at No. 2 with 73 points, while Oswego was voted No. 3 with 66 points.

Geneseo hopes to build on last year's success which included a 32-9 regular season record, and a SUNYAC title. The Knights entered last year's SUNYAC Championship as the No. 1 seed after finishing 13-3 in conference play, and managed to overcome Cortland in the championship game to snap the Red Dragons' three-year conference title streak. Geneseo made some progress in the NCAA DIII Softball Regionals, but ultimately fell in the Regional Final when they dropped a pair of games to St. John Fisher. Last year's team had three players who received SUNYAC All-Conference honors. Returning as the head coaching is David Sylvester, who was honored as the 2018 SUNYAC Coach of the Year. He helped lead the Knights to their first conference title since 2002. Sylvester enters this season with a career coaching mark of 146-89, ranking second in coaching wins and winning percentage (.621) in program history. The Knights carry two SUNYAC titles to their name.

After being edged out by Geneseo last season, Cortland hopes to return to championship form in 2019. Cortland finished 23-19 overall last year, including 12-5 in conference play, earning the team a No. 2 seed in the SUNYAC Championship. The Red Dragons pushed all the way through to the final game with Geneseo, but fell to the Knights 5-1. Losing in the SUNYAC Championship is something that doesn't happen very often for the Cortland softball program; since 2003, they've been crowned conference champions 10 times. Last year's squad included six players who were named to the SUNYAC All-Conference teams. Returning for coaching duty is Julie Lenhart. Lenhart, who enters her 25th season with the Red Dragons, has a 795-313 record with Cortland, and reached 900 career wins in 2018; making her the sixth coach in Division III history to reach the milestone. Additionally, Lenhart has been recognized as SUNYAC Coach of the Year five times (1997, 2005, 2007, 2010, and 2015). Cortland teams under Lenhart have won SUNYAC postseason titles 11 times (1998, 2003, 2005, 2007-08, 2010-11, 2013, 2015-17), and she has led Cortland to either first or second place in the SUNYAC tournament every year since 1998. Lenhart has also guided the Red Dragons to seven World Series appearances. The program has won 15 conference titles overall.

The Oswego Lakers hope to make a return to the SUNYAC Championship this season, and win the programs' first-ever conference title. Last year's team finished 19-15 overall, along with an 11-7 record in conference play, good for getting into last year's softball championship as the fourth seed. Oswego lost to Oneonta in game three of the championship, and then fell to Geneseo in the fifth game, dashing their hopes for the SUNYAC title. The Lakers' 2018 team featured three players named to SUNYAC All-Conference teams; one of those was Rebecca Vilchez, who was also recognized as the both the SUNYAC Player of the Year and Pitcher of the Year. She is the only player in SUNYAC history to win both awards in the same season. Vilchez, who returns to Oswego for her senior year, was a force at the plate last season, hitting .378, while leading the conference in doubles and RBI with 15 and 22. From the mound, Vilchez recorded 14 wins in 30 appearances, finishing with a 2.61 ERA (1.35 in conference play) while giving up no homeruns. Oswego head coach Abby Martin, who took the reigns over the team in August 2015, hopes to guide the Lakers to their third-consecutive SUNYAC Championship appearance. Martin was recognized by her peers as the SUNYAC Coach of the Year in 2017. During that season, the Lakers notched 17 wins, and appeared in the Softball Championship as a No. 2 seed. Since becoming head coach, Martin has established Oswego as quite the competitive program - in the season before she took the helm, the Lakers finished with a 5-21 record. Since 2016, Oswego has continued to win more games each consecutive season, winning no fewer than 14 games.

2019 Softball Preseason Poll

  1. Geneseo - 76
  2. Cortland - 73
  3. Oswego - 66
  4. Oneonta - 61
  5. Buffalo State - 42
  6. New Paltz - 38
  7. Plattsburgh - 33
  8. Brockport - 27
  9. Fredonia - 24
  10. Potsdam - 10

2018 SUNYAC Softball Championship Results

2019 SUNYAC Softball Championship Schedule

Q&A: Hannah Marafioti
April 25, 2019 Q&A: Hannah Marafioti
Q&A: Rich Samuels
April 16, 2019 Q&A: Rich Samuels
Q&A: Cayla O'Connor
April 8, 2019 Q&A: Cayla O'Connor
Q&A: Katie Quagliana
April 4, 2019 Q&A: Katie Quagliana
Q&A: Bobby Emerson
March 28, 2019 Q&A: Bobby Emerson
Q&A: Stephen Panno
March 7, 2019 Q&A: Stephen Panno
2019 Winter Brackets Set
February 16, 2019 2019 Winter Brackets Set
Q&A: Rachael Windhausen
February 14, 2019 Q&A: Rachael Windhausen
Q&A: Andrew Husted
January 31, 2019 Q&A: Andrew Husted
Q&A: Taylor Durnin
January 17, 2019 Q&A: Taylor Durnin
Q&A: Todd Schauss
January 10, 2019 Q&A: Todd Schauss
Q&A: Alexa Amalbert
January 3, 2019 Q&A: Alexa Amalbert
Happy New Year!
December 28, 2018 Happy New Year!
Q&A Shannon McGuire
December 20, 2018 Q&A Shannon McGuire
Q&A: Brandon Amthor
December 13, 2018 Q&A: Brandon Amthor
Q&A: Chelsea Angulas
December 6, 2018 Q&A: Chelsea Angulas
Q&A: Conlan Keenan
November 20, 2018 Q&A: Conlan Keenan
Q&A: Princella McCullough
November 13, 2018 Q&A: Princella McCullough
Q&A: Kelsey Devine
November 1, 2018 Q&A: Kelsey Devine
Q&A: Kelsey Devine
November 1, 2018 Q&A: Kelsey Devine
Q&A: Brian Terra
October 25, 2018 Q&A: Brian Terra
Q&A: Witman Hernandez
October 18, 2018 Q&A: Witman Hernandez
Q&A: Sam Mendelsohn
October 11, 2018 Q&A: Sam Mendelsohn
Q&A: Jess Gibaldi
October 4, 2018 Q&A: Jess Gibaldi
SUNYAC Q&A: Mikayla Johnson
September 27, 2018 SUNYAC Q&A: Mikayla Johnson
SUNYAC Q&A: Brooke Falsion
September 20, 2018 SUNYAC Q&A: Brooke Falsion
SUNYAC Q&A: Van Pelt
September 13, 2018 SUNYAC Q&A: Van Pelt
SUNYAC set for 2018-19
August 13, 2018 SUNYAC set for 2018-19