The Nebraska women’s gymnastics team was ranked 12th in the 2017 Preseason Coaches Poll, released by the NACGC/W and Roadtonationals.com on Sunday.
The Huskers, who received 1,765 points in the poll, are the second-highest-ranked Big Ten team, as Michigan begins the season ranked seventh.
Oklahoma, last season’s NCAA champions, received 2,519 points and 47 first-place votes, followed by LSU and Alabama. UCLA and Florida rounded out the top five.
NU will face 11 teams ranked in the preseason poll in 2017, including a trio of top-10 teams in Oklahoma, Michigan and 10th-ranked California. Seven more 2017 opponents were also receiving votes in the preseason poll.
The Big Ten placed eight teams in the preseason poll, including six teams ranked among the top-25. Two other Big Ten teams received votes in the poll.
The Huskers return ten letterwinners from last year’s team, including seniors Jennie Laeng and Ashley Lambert. Juniors Danielle Breen and Grace Williams were both All-Big Ten selections in 2016, while Abbie Epperson joins the Huskers as a transfer from Maryland, eligible to compete this season. Sophomores Sienna Crouse, Catelyn Orel and Megan Schweihofer each saw action for the Big Red a season ago.
The 2017 season opens on Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017, as the Huskers welcome Big Ten rival Penn State to the Devaney Center. The meet is a part of the Tumble N Rumble, as the Nebraska wrestling team will host Michigan simultaneously at the Devaney Center with both events scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m.