Lincoln - The Nebraska volleyball team will enter the 2010 season ranked second in the AVCA Coaches Poll, which was released Tuesday afternoon. The Huskers (1,384 points) were one of three teams to receive first place votes, as No. 1 Penn State tallied the most at 40, while Nebraska was second with 16 and No. 3 Texas snagged four votes.
The Huskers welcome back a strong team in 2010 that only lost one starter from a 2009 squad that was fifth in the final AVCA poll. Nebraska finished the year with a 26-7 record and made a trip to the NCAA Regional round for the 16th straight season.
Individually, the Huskers return three players who have earned AVCA All-America honors during their careers in the scarlet and cream, including two-time All-America setter Sydney Anderson (2008-09), senior outside hitter Tara Mueller and junior middle blocker Brooke Delano. Anderson and Delano, along with senior Kayla Banwarth and sophomore Hannah Werth, were all selected to the preseason All-Big 12 team last week, while the Huskers received nine-of-11 first-place votes in the conference team poll.
The rest of the preseason top 10 was rounded out by No. 4 Stanford, No. 5 Hawai'i, T-No.6 Illinois, T-No. 6 Minnesota, No. 8 Washington, No. 9 Iowa State and No. 10 Southern Cal. Nebraska, Texas and Iowa State were the only Big 12 teams to crack the top 25.
Nebraska and Stanford have been the two most consistent teams in the AVCA's 400 all-time polls, as each has been ranked in every poll dating back to 1982. Nebraska's 81 weeks in the No. 1 spot is still tops on the list, while Penn State sits second at 64 weeks. When it comes to being ranked in the top-10, Stanford holds a one-week advantage over the Huskers, 367-366.
Along with two Big 12 matches each against No. 3 Texas and No. 9 Iowa State, the Huskers will face four other opponents in 2010 that enter the season ranked in the top 25. Nebraska will have a tough test early during the Runza/AVCA Showcase at the Qwest Center in Omaha on when it takes on No. 14 Kentucky on Saturday, Aug. 28 and then faces No. 13 Florida the following day. Two more ranked foes will then be in Lincoln for the Ameritas Players Challenge on Sept. 9-11, as the Huskers will face No. 21 Dayton on Thursday, Sept. 9 at the NU Coliseum and No. 6 Illinois on Saturday, Sept 11 at the Devaney Center.
Fans will have their first opportunity to see the Huskers at the Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 21, at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available online at Huskers.com or by calling 1-800-8-BIGRED. Rank
AVCA Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll
School (First-Place Votes)
Penn State (40)
St. Mary's (Calif.)