The Nebraska volleyball team will begin the 2017 season at No. 5 in the AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll, which was released on Wednesday.
The Huskers totaled 1,313 points in the poll to earn a top-five preseason ranking for the third straight season. Texas took the No. 1 spot with 25 first-place votes, while defending national champion Stanford earned the No. 2 ranking despite having the most first-place votes, 35. Washington and Minnesota were ranked third and fourth, respectively, each receiving two first-place votes.
The Huskers, who finished 31-3 last year and reached the NCAA semifinals for a second straight year, will open the season against No. 18 Oregon at the VERT Challenge in Gainesville, Florida on Friday, Aug. 25. NU will also face No. 12 Florida on Saturday, Aug. 26 in Gainesville.
If the Huskers are to repeat as Big Ten Champions for the first time since joining the conference in 2011, they will have to navigate a loaded Big Ten Conference once again. Eight Big Ten teams are ranked in the preseason poll – more than any other conference – and four teams are ranked in the top seven (No. 4 Minnesota, No. 5 Nebraska, No. 6 Penn State, No. 7 Wisconsin). Nebraska has 14 matches scheduled against preseason top-25 teams, and 10 of its first 18 matches will be against ranked opponents.
Nebraska will hold its annual Red/White Scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Bob Devaney Sports Center.