The Horizon League announced the preseason poll for the upcoming volleyball season as voted upon by the League’s coaches, with Northern Kentucky finishing fifth in the projected standings.
NKU moved down one spot from its preseason poll standing from a season ago, when the Norse ended the year third in the League with an 11-5 record. This season, NKU received 52 points in the poll for the fifth-place spot.
Eighth-year head coach Liz Hart is confident in this year’s squad, explaining that, “While we realize we lost a lot of contributors in last year’s senior class, we are very confident in our returners and incoming class to continue to finish in the top half of the Horizon League. We competed well on Saturday with a 2016 at-large NCAA Tournament team (Miami University), and we expect to be highly competitive in a strong Horizon League.”
Regular-season champion Cleveland State is the slim favorite to reprise its title with 81 points and four first-place votes, closely followed by Green Bay with 79 points and three first-place votes. Oakland also received a first-place vote and sits at third in the poll with 63 points. Rounding out the top-four is Milwaukee, with 60 points.
Following NKU in the poll is League newcomer IUPUI (41), as well as UIC (31), Wright State (30) and Youngstown State (12).
The Norse begin the season in Houston at the Barcelona HBU Classic, hosted by Houston Baptist on Aug. 25-26. NKU faces Texas Tech in the season opener on Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET and concludes the two-day tournament on Saturday with matches against Texas Southern (3 p.m.) and HBU (8 p.m.).
Horizon League Volleyball Preseason Poll
- Cleveland State (4) 81
- Green Bay (3) 79
- Oakland (1) 63
- Milwaukee 60
- Northern Kentucky 52
- IUPUI 41
- UIC (1) 31
- Wright State 30
- Youngstown State 12
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Northern Kentucky University