Kearney, Neb. The Nebraska-Kearney volleyball team is ranked 11th in the 2019 AVCA (American Volleyball Coaches Association) Division II Top 25 preseason poll. UNK went 33-3 last year and was ranked 12th in the final rankings. This is the 163rd consecutive poll the Lopers have appeared in as well as the 335th all-time ranking for Loper volleyball. Kearney received 655 points to be one of eight Central Region teams in the poll. Defending national champion Tampa is No. 1 (1,142 points; 43 first place votes) with Cal State San Bernardino second (1,040 points). Besides UNK, the other Central teams in the poll are reigning region champion Washburn (No. 4), Concordia-St. Paul (No. 5), Minnesota-Duluth (No. 6), Northern State (No. 8), Southwest Minnesota State (No. 9), Central Missouri (No. 17) and Central Oklahoma (No. 22).
Three other Central squads are among those in “others receiving votes”; Wayne State, Northwest Missouri State and Sioux Falls. The 335rd ranked week in the AVCA Division II poll is the fourth most behind only UCM (426), UT (398) and UMD (352). The last time the Blue & Gold wasn’t ranked came with the 2007 preseason poll. The next D2 poll will be released on Monday, September 9. The MIAA preseason coaches’ poll will be released on Monday, August 26. UNK begins the regular season on Friday, September 6, with its own preseason Invite. The Lopers will battle Division I Wyoming in a scrimmage this Saturday at 7:30 p.m. Central in Cheyenne.