NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The Saint Joseph's field hockey team was voted atop the conference in the 2019 Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Preseason Poll, released by the league on Monday afternoon.  The three-time defending regular season and two-time defending tournament champions earned eight of a possible nine first-place votes to top the poll in voting conducted among the league's head coaches.

In addition, seniors Kathrin Bentz, Victoria Kammerinke, and Pepa Serrano and sophomore Tonya Botherway were voted onto the Preseason All-Conference Team.

Bentz has been the centerpiece of one of the nation's most stringent defensive lines over the past two seasons.  In 2017, the Hawks ranked among the top five in the nation in team save percentage, while the squad held the opposition to just 1.05 goals per game a year ago.  Bentz earned All-Conference First Team honors in 2017 and was tabbed for the Second Team last season; she has also has an All-ECAC and an All-Mid-Atlantic Region honor to her name as well.

Kammerinke became just the second Hawk in program history to earn multiple NFHCA All-America honors when she was named to the Second Team in 2018; she was tabbed for the Third Team a year prior.  One of the top goalkeepers in the nation, she tied for the lead in all of Division I with 10 shutouts a season ago en route to her second consecutive Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Year award.  Kammerinke posted a shutout in the Atlantic 10 title game, helping her earn the Championship's Most Outstanding Player honor.

The 2016 Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Year, Serrano is a three-time First Team All-Atlantic 10 selection and earned her first national honor last season when she was tabbed to the NFHCA All-America Third Team.  Serrano was also voted onto the All-Mid-Atlantic Region First Team in 2018 after earning Second Team accolades in each of the previous two seasons.  She has also led the Atlantic 10 in assists twice in her three seasons and ranks second in program history with 31 career assists.

Botherway was named the league's Rookie of the Year last season after ranking second in the conference with 23 goals and 56 points.  She ranked fourth in the league with 10 assists as well, and ended the season fourth in the nation in points per game with 2.67 and sixth in goals per game at 1.1.  Botherway tallied the first two NCAA Tournament goals in program history as she netted a pair in the Hawks' contest against #8 Michigan.

Saint Joseph's has won the last three regular season Atlantic 10 titles and has captured the league's tournament title in each of the last two seasons.  VCU was voted second in the poll, followed by Massachusetts, Richmond, Lock Haven, La Salle, Saint Francis (Pa.), Davidson, and Saint Louis.  The top four teams in the standings at the end of the regular season will compete in the Atlantic 10 Championship, to be hosted by Richmond on November 8 and 9.