OMAHA, Neb. — The Creighton Volleyball program is ranked No. 13 in the preseason Top 25 poll released this afternoon by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. It’s the fifth time in the last six seasons that the Bluejays have earned a spot in the preseason poll, and second-best preseason ranking in program history.
The poll is led by Stanford, and also features defending national champion Nebraska, Texas, Minnesota and Kentucky in the top-five. The Cardinal earned 43-of-64 first-place votes overall.
For the sixth straight fall, Creighton’s non-conference schedule features four or more teams that are ranked in the preseason poll, including No. 2 Nebraska, No. 5 Kentucky, No. 10 USC, No. 12 Illinois and No. 21 Iowa State. The Jays also play three matches against teams receiving votes, including Wichita State once and Marquette twice.
Including today’s poll, Creighton has now spent 37 weeks in the top-25 of the rankings all-time, and its 23 straight weeks in the top-25 is the nation’s 14th-longest active streak. Before today, Creighton’s only better preseason ranking had been the No. 9 by last year’s team. 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 seventh straight season that Creighton has been ranked for at least one week.
Last year’s Bluejay squad was ninth in the preseason poll, ended the regular-season as the No. 9 national seed in the NCAA Tournament, and finished the season with a 26-7 record. The Bluejays won its fourth straight BIG EAST regular-season title, and its fourth straight BIG EAST Championship was one of four tournaments the team won. Among last year’s top wins were victories over No. 3 Washington, No. 7 Kansas and No. 13 Kentucky. Top returnees from last year’s team include preseason all-BIG EAST selections Brittany Witt, Taryn Kloth and Jaali Winters.
Being ranked in the preseason poll is no guarantee of future success, however. In the previous 10 seasons, only 178-of-250 teams (71.2 percent) would be in both the preseason and postseason AVCA Top 25 polls. Since 2008, all but 25 teams (of 250) named in the preseason AVCA Top 25 poll would go on to reach the NCAA Tournament (90.0 percent).
The Bluejays opened their fall practice schedule on Wednesday morning and host the annual Blue-White Scrimmage on Saturday at 3:30 pm, before opening the regular-season on Aug. 24 with a match against No. 5 Kentucky at the Trojan Invitational in Los Angeles, Calif.