The AVCA 2007 preseason poll has been released, and as expected, Nebraska starts at number one. This is the third consecutive season that the Huskers have started ranked first. Last year's team won the national title with a 33-1 record, beating Stanford in the final, 3-1.Nebraska has been ranked as the top team for 32 of the last 33 polls, dating back to the start of the 2005 season. The 2005 team lost to Washington in the final game, but were ranked top for the season.
Behind Nebraska are Stanford (with seven first-place votes), Penn State, Texas, UCLA, USC, Florida, Washington, Minnesota and Hawaii. Keep in mind that Stanford and Penn State both host regionals this year. Stanford returns all their starters from last season, as do Penn State and Texas. If the Huskers are to repeat this season, they're going to have to play some darned good volleyball.
Other ranked Big 12 teams include Texas at #4, Missouri at #20, and Oklahoma at #22.
Nebraska's season opens this coming week at the AVCA Showcase. Nebraska will play Tennessee Friday evening at 8:30 pm at the Qwest Center in Omaha. Saturday's match will feature the Huskers against either fifth-ranked UCLA or Utah.