Four Big Ten Squads Ranked in CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Preseason Coaches Poll
Aug. 8, 2005
PARK RIDGE, Ill. - Four Big Ten volleyball teams have been selected to the CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Preseason Coaches Poll, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced today. Penn State, which garnered one first-place vote, leads the Big Ten contingent at No. 5, followed by No. 6 Minnesota. Wisconsin earned a top-10 ranking as the Badgers are 10th, while Ohio State was tabbed 12th. Illinois and Purdue also received votes in the poll.
The Big Ten and Pac-10 each nabbed three spots in the top 10 of the preseason poll. Overall, the Pac-10 is represented by six teams in the top 19 spots, while all of the Big Ten's four representatives are in the top 12.
Penn State, the two-time defending conference champion, finished 29-3 (18-2, 1st Big Ten) last season and seventh in the final national poll. The Nittany Lions advanced to the NCAA Tournament regional semifinals in 2004 and have four starters and their libero returning this season.
Minnesota finished 33-5 (17-3, T-2nd) last year and second in the country after its runner-up finish to Southern California in the national championship final. The Golden Gophers were the only team to be ranked in the top five in all 16 polls last season.
Wisconsin earns its highest ranking in the CSTV/AVCA Top 25 poll since the Badgers were selected 10th in the preseason poll of the 2002 season. After a 22-10 (13-7, 4th) season in 2004, Wisconsin returns six of its seven starters and a total of 11 letterwinners.
Despite the loss of co-National Player of the Year winner Stacey Gordon to graduation, Ohio State returns four starters from a squad that finished 30-4 (17-3, T-2nd) in 2004 and sixth in the final poll. After receiving votes in the first two weeks of the 2004 season, the Buckeyes stormed through the Top 25 rankings and finished the last 11 weeks with a top 10 ranking.
In the past two years, eight of the 11 Conference teams were either ranked or received votes during each season. Also in 2003 and 2004, seven Big Ten squads earned bids to the NCAA Championship, which led all conferences.
Big Ten volleyball gets underway Friday, August 26, when the Nittany Lions battle defending national champion Stanford in the AVCA/NACWAA College Volleyball Showcase in Omaha, Neb. Penn State will also have the opportunity to face either No. 1 Nebraska or No. 4 Hawaii the following day. Also in action on August 26, will be Illinois at intrastate foe Illinois State.
The complete 2005 CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Preseason Coaches Poll follows.
Others receiving points and listed on two or more ballots: Kansas State 123, Notre Dame 118, Santa Clara 85, Utah 77, Purdue 57, Ohio 51, Illinois 44, Wichita State 41, Kansas 40, Nevada 35, Brigham Young 33, Florida A&M 23, Colorado 22, Duke 14, Loyola Marymount 9, Rice 9, Pacific 5.