OMAHA, Neb. — 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 sixth time in the last seven seasons that the Bluejays have earned a spot in the preseason poll, and tied for the third-best preseason ranking in program history.
The poll is led by Stanford, and also features defending national runner-up Nebraska, Minnesota, Texas and Wisconsin in the top-five. The Cardinal earned 62-of-64 first-place votes overall.
For the seventh straight fall, Creighton’s non-conference schedule features four or more teams that are ranked in the preseason poll, including No. 2 Nebraska, No. 7 Kentucky, No. 13 Washington, No. 14 USC and No. 20 Baylor. The Jays also play a pair of matches against league rival and 16th-ranked Marquette and one match against Northern Iowa, which is receiving votes in the poll.
Including today’s poll, Creighton has now spent 53 weeks in the top-25 of the rankings all-time, and its 39 straight weeks in the top-25 is the nation’s 10th-longest active streak. Before today, Creighton’s only better preseason ranking had been the No. 9 preseason slotting for the 2017 team and the No. 13 ranking prior to 2018. Creighton’s best ranking in history in any poll was the No. 7 mark in the August 28, 2017 voting. Today’s rank also marks the eighth straight season that Creighton has been ranked for at least one week.
Last year’s Bluejay squad was 13th in the preseason poll, ended the regular-season as the No. 9 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, and finished the season with a 29-5 record. The Bluejays won their fifth straight BIG EAST regular-season title, and their fifth straight BIG EAST Championship was one of three tournaments the team won. That team would also finish the season 13th in the final year-end AVCA poll. Top returnees for Creighton in 2019 include seniors Megan Ballenger, Madelyn Cole and Brittany Witt, all of whom were named Preseason All-BIG EAST.
Being ranked in the preseason poll is no guarantee of future success, however. In the previous 11 seasons, only 197-of-275 teams (71.6 percent) would be in both the preseason and postseason AVCA Top 25 polls. Since 2008, all but 28 teams (of 275) named in the preseason AVCA Top 25 poll would go on to reach the NCAA Tournament (89.8 percent).
The Bluejays opened their fall practice schedule last week and host the annual Blue-White Scrimmage on Saturday at 3:30 pm, before opening the regular-season on Aug. 30 with a match at No. 2 Nebraska as part of the Husker Invitational in Lincoln, Neb.