The AVCA released its preseason coaches poll on Wednesday afternoon and the reigning champion Nebraska Cornhuskers come in at No. 2, behind only Stanford.
The Huskers went 32-4 last season, taking down Penn State and then Florida in the NCAA Championship to take home their second title in three years.
Nebraska lost All-American captains Kelly Hunter and Annika Albrecht as well as standout middle blocker Briana Holman and key contributor Sydney Townsend, a defensive specialist.
Nebraska does return four starters in outside hitter Mikaela Foecke and libero Kenzie Maloney, both senior co-captains, along with middle blocker Lauren Stivrins and opposite hitter Jazz Sweet. Coach John Cook added eight newcomers to the team since the end of last season including five freshmen.
Nebraska will open the season by hosting No. 7 Florida and No. 18 Oregon on August 24 and 25 in the VERT Challenge. The Huskers will also take a trip up I-80 to take on No. 13 Creighton at CHI Healh Center Omaha. Missouri State, who received four votes, will travel to Lincoln to take part in the Husker Invitational, facing the host Huskers on Sept. 15.
In total, seven Big Ten teams landed in the top 25, tied with the Pac-12 for the most by a single conference. Minnesota (No. 4), Penn State (6), Wisconsin (9), Illinois (12), Michigan State (22) and Purdue (23) all made the cut while Michigan received 153 votes, putting the Wolverines at No. 27.
Nebraska's nearly sold-out Red-White Scrimmage is set for 3 p.m. on Aug. 18.
Jacob is in his third year with Hail Varsity covering Husker athletics. He has also written extensively for SB Nation’s Bright Side of the Sun and The Creightonian. His love of basketball can best be described as an obsession and if you need to find him, he’s probably in a gym somewhere watching, coaching or playing hoops.