Lincoln - The Nebraska volleyball team will enter the 2011 season ranked fifth in the AVCA Coaches Poll, which was released Monday afternoon. The Huskers (1,1221 points) were one of Big Ten three teams earn a spot in the top 10, joining No. 1 Penn State and No. 8 Illinois.
The Huskers welcome back a strong team in 2011 that returns All-Americans Brooke Delano and Hannah Werth, while Werth was also the 2010 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. Nebraska finished the year with a 29-3 record, captured its 12th Big 12 title during its final season in the league and made a trip to the NCAA Regional round for the 17th straight season.
The rest of the preseason top 10 was rounded out by No. 2 USC, No. 4 Texas, No. 6 Stanford, No. 7 Washington, No. 9 Florida and No. 10 Hawaii. Along with the three teams in the top ten, four other Big Ten teams secured a spot in the top-25, including No. 12 Minnesota, No. 13 Purdue, No. 21 Ohio State and Michigan, who tied for the No. 24 spot with Tennessee.
Nebraska and Stanford have been the two most consistent teams in the AVCA's 416 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 67 weeks. When it comes to being ranked in the top-10, Stanford holds a one-week advantage over the Huskers, 383-382.
During the non-conference season, the Huskers are set to meet two top-25 teams. The Huskers will visit No. 15 Colorado State on Friday, Sept. 2, before ending their non-conference schedule on Saturday, Sept. 17, with a match against No. 18 Iowa State ath the Devaney Center. Nebraska will play its first Big Ten Conference match on Wednesday, Sept. 21, at the NU Coliseum when the Huskers welcome Penn State.
Fans will have their first opportunity to see the Huskers at the Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 20, at 7 p.m. Tickets are still available online at Huskers.com or by calling 1-800-8-BIGRED.