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Creighton Volleyball Ranked #18 in Coaches Poll

Published: Aug. 10, 2016 at 11:02 PM CDT
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The Creighton Volleyball program is ranked No. 18 in the preseason Top 25 poll released this afternoon by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. It's the third time in four seasons that the Bluejays have earned a spot in the preseason poll, and the program's best mark for any week in program history.

The poll is led by defending national champ Nebraska, and also features Texas, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Kansas in the top-five.

For the fourth straight fall, Creighton's non-conference schedule features four or more teams that are ranked in the preseason poll, including No. 1 Nebraska, No. 5 Kansas, No. 7 USC and No. 24 Kentucky. The Jays also play five matches against teams receiving votes, including Iowa State, Wichita State, Marquette (two matches) and TCU. The Golden Eagles are the only other BIG EAST squad listed, coming in 38th place with six votes.

Creighton has spent 12 previous weeks in the top-25 of the rankings during the course of the past four seasons, with four such weeks in 2012, six weeks as a ranked squad in 2013 and one week each in both 2014 and 2015. Before today, the previous best ranking had been No. 19 on two occasions.

Last year's Bluejay squad advanced to the Sweet 16 in the NCAA Tournament for the first time, defeating Coastal Carolina and No. 23 North Carolina before falling to No. 2 USC. Top returnees from last year's team that finished 27-9 overall include preseason all-BIG EAST selections Jess Bird, Lauren Smith and Jaali Winters. Winters was tabbed Preseason BIG EAST Player of the Year, while both Smith and Winters were named All-Americans in 2015.

Being ranked in the preseason poll is no guarantee of future success, however. In the last eight seasons, only 144-of-200 teams (72 percent) would be in both the preseason and postseason AVCA Top 25 polls. In that same time frame, all but 19 teams named in the preseason AVCA Top 25 poll would go on to reach the NCAA Tournament (90.5 percent).

The Bluejays opened their fall practice schedule on Monday morning, hosts the annual Blue-White Scrimmage on Aug. 19, and opens the regular-season on Aug. 27 with a match against Wichita State at the Iowa State Challenge in Ames, Iowa.

Rank School (First-Place Votes) Total Points Adjusted 2015 Record 2015 Final Rank

1 Nebraska (60) 1594 32-4 1

2 Texas (3) 1517 30-3 2

3 Minnesota 1368 30-5 3

4 Wisconsin 1255 26-7 10

5 Kansas 1237 30-3 4

6 Hawai'i 1183 29-2 7

T-7 Washington 1162 31-3 6

T-7 Southern California 1162 33-3 5

9 Penn State 1123 28-6 9

10 Florida 1090 25-7 8

11 Stanford (1) 979 23-7 14

12 UCLA 940 25-8 12

13 BYU 806 28-4 11

14 Illinois 724 21-13 15

15 Ohio State 700 25-10 13

16 Texas A&M 600 24-7 18

17 Florida State 443 25-8 20

18 Creighton 419 27-9 19

19 North Carolina 386 21-10 25

20 Purdue 335 23-10 17

21 Loyola Marymount 295 24-9 16

22 Western Kentucky 221 32-4 22

23 Louisville 201 25-7 21

24 Kentucky 161 21-10 NR

25 Colorado State 145 26-4 23

Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: San Diego 113; Michigan State 107; Missouri 97; Oregon 85; Michigan 83; Arizona 68; Iowa State 59; Long Beach State 25; Arkansas State 23; Wichita State 21; Arizona State 16; Dayton 6; Marquette 6; TCU 3

Six teams mentioned on only one ballot for a total of 36 combined points.