OMAHA, Neb. -- With nine letterwinners and four starters back from last year's team that went 29-4 and finished the fall ranked No. 24 nationally, the Creighton Volleyball team will enter the season with a preseason national ranking next to its name for the first time in 2013.
Creighton was ranked No. 25 in the preseason 2013 poll, and were the only BIG EAST team to receive recognition. The poll is led by defending national champion Texas, followed by Penn State, Stanford, USC and Washington.
Creighton's non-conference schedule features five teams that are ranked in the preseason poll, including No. 11 Hawai'i, No. 12 UCLA, No. 13 BYU, No. 20 Kansas and No. 24 Wichita State. The Jays also host California, which received enough votes to be 37th in the ranking.
Creighton moved into the national rankings for the first time in program history last November 5, moving into the No. 25 spot in the poll. The Bluejays were also ranked 23rd (Nov. 12), 21st (Nov. 19) and No. 24 in the year-end poll.
Last year's squad advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after sweeping Missouri Valley Conference regular-season and tournament titles. Top returnees include all-conference selections Melanie Jereb, Leah McNary and Kelli Browning.
Being ranked in the preseason poll is no guarantee of future success, however. In the last five seasons, only 93-of-125 teams (74.4 percent) would be in both the preseason and postseason AVCA Top 25 polls. In that same time frame, all but 11 teams named in the preseason AVCA Top 25 poll would go on to reach the NCAA Tournament (91.2 percent).
The Bluejays reported to campus on August 8th, hosts the annual Blue-White Scrimmage on Aug. 23, and opens the regular-season on Aug. 30 with a match against No. 13 BYU at the Hampton Inn Invitational in Bowling Green, Ohio. It will mark the third time Creighton has begun the year against a top-25 foe, joining 1998 (No. 5 Nebraska) and 2008 (No. 16 Minnesota).
Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots: San Diego 101; North Carolina 68; Pepperdine 65; Illinois 49; Miami (FL) 41; Oklahoma 35; Kansas State 32; Long Beach State 30; St. Mary's (CA) 27; Texas A&M 20; Wisconsin 17; California 16; Colorado State 15; Notre Dame 6; San Diego State 6; Northern Iowa 3.
Eight teams mentioned on only one ballot for a total of 33 combined points.
VB: Villanova at Creighton (11/21/14)
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