The Creighton Volleyball program is ranked 23rd in the preseason Top 25 poll released this afternoon by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. It's the second straight season the Bluejays have earned a spot in the preseason poll, and a two-spot upgrade after being 25th in last year's initial survey.
The poll is led by defending national champ Penn State and also features Texas, Stanford, Washington and USC in the top-five.
For the second straight fall, Creighton's non-conference schedule features five teams that are ranked in the preseason poll, including No. 5 USC, No. 7 Nebraska, No. 11 Illinois, No. 19 Kentucky and No. 22 Kansas. The Jays also host Colorado, which received enough votes to be 33rd in the ranking, and have a home-and-home series with league foe Marquette, which was ranked 29th. The Golden Eagles are the only other BIG EAST squad listed.
Creighton has spent 10 weeks in the top-25 of the rankings during the course of the past two seasons, with four such weeks in 2012 before six weeks as a ranked squad last fall. Last year's team was ranked 25th in the preseason poll, then opened the year with a victory over No. 13 BYU.
Last year's Bluejay squad advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the third time in four seasons, defeating Arkansas before falling at Kansas with a Sweet 16 bid on the line. Top returnees for CU include all-conference selections Leah McNary, Kelli Browning and Michelle Sicner.
Being ranked in the preseason poll is no guarantee of future success, however. In the last six seasons, only 109-of-150 teams (72.7 percent) would be in both the preseason and postseason AVCA Top 25 polls. In that same time frame, all but 15 teams named in the preseason AVCA Top 25 poll would go on to reach the NCAA Tournament (90 percent).
The Bluejays opened their fall practice schedule earlier this morning, hosts the annual Blue-White Scrimmage on Aug. 22, and opens the regular-season on Aug. 29 with a match against Lipscomb at the Kansas Invitational in Lawrence, Kan.