The AVCA preseason top 25 coaches poll got here out Tuesday. The primary rating of the main NCAA girls’s volleyball packages is hardly the be-all end-all, but it surely’s a great place to start out for the aim of trying firstly of the season.
And that occurs per week from Friday with some fairly engaging matches. So, so as, just a little of this and that:
No. 1 Texas (28-1, 15-1 Large 12) — The defending nationwide champions are nonetheless the group to beat within the new-and-improved Large 12, however No. 1? Gone are VolleyballMag.com nationwide participant of the 12 months Logan Eggleston and one-year tremendous libero Zoe Fleck, a VolleyballMag.com first-team All-American who made the distinction as Texas received its first NCAA crown since 2012. However don’t cry for the Longhorns, a group anchored by senior center Asjia O’Neal, who made a giant splash for the USA this summer time. She has a legit shot at making our Olympic group for Paris in 2024. It is a squad that additionally contains Madisen Skinner, Molly Phillips and Bella Bergmark and Minnesota switch Jenna Wenaas. Firepower received’t be the query — it by no means is for Texas — however the high quality of play that coach Jerritt Elliott will get at setter and libero is.
No. 2 Wisconsin (28-4, 19-1 Large Ten) — Wisconsin received all of it in 2021 and final 12 months misplaced to Pitt within the regional ultimate. Not solely is nearly everybody again, however the Badgers added two big-time transfers in Northwestern graduate-student outdoors Temi Thomas-Ailara, a VolleyballMag.com second-team All-American, and 6-foot-7 Minnesota sophomore center Carter Sales space. Among the many returners are 6-9 Anna Smrek, MJ Hammill, Devyn Robinson, Izzy Ashburn, Sarah Franklin and Julia Orzol. There’s each motive to assume Wisconsin — picked to win the Large Ten by the coaches — will probably be there when the ultimate 4 groups collect in Tampa in late December.
No. 3 Stanford (27-5, 19-1 Pac-12) — Stanford, which misplaced within the NCAA regional ultimate — at house — to San Diego is my group to beat. Pound for pound, the Cardinal’s beginning lineup is the nation’s finest, together with one of the best proper aspect in Kendal Kipp, one of the best setter in Kami Miner, and a libero nearly as good as anybody’s in Elena Oglivie. Throw in Elia Rubin, Sami Francis, Caitie Baird and McKenna Vicini and also you’re trying a group that may win the ultimate season of the Pac-12. And it’s a must to point out Stanford’s yearly ridiculously robust pre-conference schedule because the Cardinal begins college later than most as a result of it’s on the quarter system. Stanford goes to Northern Colorado and Colorado State, is house for Florida, goes to Texas and Rice, performs host to Ohio State, Minnesota and Nebraska, after which goes to Louisville. Search for a function on the Cardinal within the subsequent week.
No. 4 Louisville (31-3, 17-1 ACC) — After back-to-back ultimate fours, together with shedding to Texas in final 12 months’s NCAA title tilt, Louisville has to yearly be within the national-championship dialogue. Gone is tremendous outdoors Claire Chaussee, however again are senior outdoors Anna DeBeer, grad-student proper aspect Aiko Jones, senior center Phekran Lengthy and junior libero Elena Scott, and so they’re joined by a big-time switch in UCLA junior Charitie Luper, who, when wholesome, is nearly as good an outdoor as there’s within the nation.
tie, No. 5 Nebraska (26-6, 16-4) — Nebraska misplaced within the NCAA spherical of 16 to Oregon, ending a irritating season for the Huskers. As they head into 2023, most observers agree that player-for-player Nebraska has essentially the most gifted roster within the nation. Newcomers will loom massive as freshman setter Bergen Reilly ought to run the present, Florida switch Merritt Beason not solely made an affect final spring however was named the captain, and freshman outdoors Harper Murray was the VolleyballMag.com top player on our Fab 50 list. Throw in one of many nation’s finest liberos in Lexi Rodriguez and pin hitters Lindsay Krause and Ally Batenhorst and Nebraska ought to be proper there with Wisconsin on the high of B1G.
tie, No. 5 Pittburgh (31-4, 17-1 ACC) — Pitt is coming off back-to-back nationwide semifinals as coach Dan Fisher has established his program as one of many nation’s elite. Pitt’s remarkably various roster contains junior setter/proper aspect Rachel Fairbanks, who has develop into a star. The roster contains senior outdoors Valeria Vazquez Gomez and three transfers in Virginia Tech libero Logan Mosley, Michigan State center Emma Monks and Florida center Bre Kelley.
No. 7 Minnesota (22-9, 15-5 Large Ten) — There’s rather a lot about this group that’s intriguing, beginning with new coach Keegan Cook dinner, who left Washington. Junior outdoors Taylor Landfair, a VolleyballMag.com first-team All-American, can carry a group, setter Melani Shaffmaster is each huge and excellent, and sophomore outdoors Mckenna Wucherer is prepared for a breakout season. Throw in Ohio State switch Kylie Murr, nearly as good as a libero as there’s, and Cal senior switch Lydia Grote (whose sister, Marin, performed for Cook dinner at Washington) and the Gophers ought to be within the combine.
No. 8 Penn State (26-8, 13-7) — Coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley had a surprisingly good first 12 months on the helm with a group cobbled along with overachieving transfers. The Nittany Lions misplaced in 5 to Wisconsin the NCAA spherical of 16. Transfers once more will probably be key, together with Michigan senior outdoors Jess Mruzik and Ohio State graduate-student Mac Podraza, the B1G setter of the 12 months and a VolleyballMag.com first-team All-American. The return of Taylor Trammel at center after getting injured midway by 2022 is essential. Center Allie Holland and out of doors/proper aspect Zoe Weatheringon want huge senior seasons.
No. 9 Oregon (26-6, 17-3 Pac-12) — It’s exhausting to think about Oregon with out tremendous do-everything outdoors Brooke Nuneviller, the VolleyballMag.com first-team All-America who appeared to the touch the ball each play for the Geese the previous 5 years. The ache of her loss is eased, nevertheless, by the return of Mimi Colyer, who was nothing wanting spectacular as a freshman outdoors. Oregon has all of the items, together with setter Hannah Pukis and center Karson Bacon. Throw in Ohio State senior outdoors switch Gabby Gonzales and Baylor center Kara McGhee (a VolleyballMag.com third-team All-American) and you may anticipate Oregon to be proper there with Stanford all through the Pac-12 farwell tour.
No. 10 Kentucky (22-8, 15-3 SEC) — Kentucky, which was swept by San Diego within the NCAA spherical of 16, has set the bar within the SEC. The core of libero Eleanor Beavin, setter Emma Grome, outdoors Reagan Rutherford and high-leaping, undersized superb center Azhani Tealer make sure the Wildcats are well-prepared for his or her top-of-the-SEC battle with Florida.
No. 11 Florida (25-6, 15-3 SEC) — The Gators, who misplaced to Pitt within the NCAA spherical of 16, are led by setter Alexis Stucky, the 2022 SEC freshman of the 12 months. Elli McKissock has established herself as a high libero, however the lack of Merritt Beason to Nebraska hurts. Missouri grad-student outdoors switch Anna Dixon, who additionally performed one season at Kansas State, is an efficient get as she joins her third program.
No. 12 Marquette (29-4, 17-1 Large East) — Marquette is simply flat out good yearly and its annual Large East battles with Creighton are as enjoyable because it will get. The Golden Eagles are led by VolleyballMag.com fourth-team All-American junior setter Yadhira Anchante, junior outdoors Jenna Reitsma and senior center Carsen Murray.
No. 13 San Diego (31-2, 18-0 West Coast Convention) — San Diego capitalized on the right storm in 2022, driving the wave all the best way to the nationwide semifinals the place it misplaced in 4 to Texas. The Toreros and VolleyballMag.com nationwide coach of the 12 months Jennifer Petrie obtained a giant increase from transfers who had their finest seasons, together with setter Gabby Blossom and out of doors Breana Edwards. However they’re gone, and so is main attacker Katie Lukes. Transfers will probably be key once more, together with Nebraska setter Anni Evans, Georgia outdoors Amber Stivrins (who began at Louisville and can play for her third college) and Indiana center Leyla Blackwell, who’s from close by La Jolla.
No. 14 Ohio State (22-10, 15-5 Large Ten) — In a surprising transfer, coach Jen Flynn Oldenburg let the veteran core of her group transfer on, together with All-American setter Mac Podraza, All-American libero Kylie Murr, and outsides Gabby Gonzales and Jenaisya Moore. Oldenburg and Podraza talked about it with VolleyballMag.com in one of most-viewed stories/videos of 2022.
However Ohio State has senior Emily Londot (a proper aspect who would possibly transfer to outdoors) and senior center Rylee Rader, two gamers who make sure the Buckeyes will probably be simply advantageous. The Buckeyes are younger, with 5 freshmen and 4 sophomores.
No. 15 Baylor (25-7, 12-4 Large 12) In some way, a way coach Ryan McGuyre reloads yearly. Final season Baylor misplaced within the second spherical of the NCAA tourney at Louisville. Sophomore setter Averi Carlson and sophomore proper aspect Allie Zczech lead the Bears, a group with no seniors and 6 freshmen.
No. 16 Purdue (21-11, 11-9 Large Ten) — Eva Hudson had an incredible begin to her freshman 12 months, however as 2022 wound down, so did she. The do-everything outdoors hitter was a VolleyballMag.com third-team All-American hitter who ought to be a national-player-of-the-year candidate. Grad-student Maddie Schermerhorn is a top-notch libero and Raven Colvin is robust at center. The Boilermakers will probably be younger, with six freshmen — together with outdoors Chloe Chicoine — two redshirt-freshmen and three sophomores. However coach Dave Shondell at all times has Purdue prepared.
No. 17 BYU (22-7, 14-3 West Coast Convention) — BYU yearly battled with San Diego and Pepperdine the West Coast Convention. However the WCC is within the rear-view mirror because the Cougars transfer to the Large 12, the place they open with matches in opposition to Houston, Baylor and back-to-back at Texas. Senior Whitney Bower is the best-kept secret in faculty volleyball and senior outdoors Erin Livingston is excellent.
No. 18 Creighton (27-5, 17-1 Large East) — The Bluejays are led by outdoors Norah Sis, a VolleyballMag.com third-team All-American and national-player-of-the-year candidate, and setter Kendra Wait, a VBM All-American honorable point out. They misplaced within the first spherical to upstart Auburn with Wait injured, lacking the primary match of her profession after 66 straight begins. Creighton obtained a lift with the switch from Rice by pin hitter Ellie Bichelmeyer.
No. 19 Houston (30-4, 19-1 American Athletic) — Houston is one other group becoming a member of the Large 12 and the Cougars have the roster to maintain up with Baylor and BYU. That features tremendous senior libero Kate Georgiades, Texas Tech outdoors hitter switch Kenna Sauer and out of doors Abbie Jackson, one of many higher under-the-radar gamers within the nation. Don’t sleep on coach Dave Rehr and Houston.
No. 20 Georgia Tech (21-8, 13-5 ACC) — The Yellowjackets could have a distinct look with out Brazilian national-teamer and possible Olympian Julia Bergmann, the skin who carried a exceptional load for. GT the previous 4 years. After a season through which they misplaced to Marquette within the second spherical of the NCAA Match, the Jackets will depend on Argentinian outdoors Bianca Bertolino and setter Bella D’Amico. The roster contains three transfers and 4 freshman.
No. 21 Washington State (23-10, 14-6 Pac-12) — Coach Jen Greeny at all times has the Cougars prepared and this ought to be considered one of her finest groups in years. The chief is VolleyballMag.com first-team All-American Magda Jehlarova, the fifth-year Czech center who will depart Pullman as one of many biggest gamers in program historical past. She and Arizona State switch Iman Isanovic (Bosnia and Herzegovina) are enjoying for his or her international locations this week within the European Volleyball Championships. German Pia Timmer, a fifth-year outdoors and VBM honorable-mention All-American, can carry a group. WSU misplaced to San Diego within the second spherical of the NCAA Match.
No. 22 USC (22-11, 13-7 Pac-12) — USC, which misplaced within the second spherical to Ohio State, ought to have its finest group underneath coach Brad Keller as he enters his fourth season. The chief is VolleyballMag.com first-team All-American Skylar Fields, the senior outdoors who led USC in kills final season after transferring from Texas. She had 598 kills, an unimaginable 265 greater than her subsequent closest teammate. Junior setter Mia Tuaniga is coming off an all-Pac-12 season.
No. 23 Rice (27-4, 13-1 Convention USA) — Rice, which misplaced to Baylor in 5 within the second spherical of the NCAA tourney, has some severe rebuilding to do with the commencement of setter Carly Graham and center Anota Adekunle. Graham was a VBM fourth-teamer and Adekulne obtained honorable point out. Exterior Ellie Bichelmeyer transferred to Creighton. What’s extra, the Owls are transferring to the American Athletic Convention, which places an finish to the good C-USA rivalry it has had with Western Kentucky. Senior outdoors Sahara Maruska is again and USC switch Emila Weske, a German proper aspect, will slot in properly.
No. 24 Western Kentucky (29-4, 14-0 Convention USA) — WKU misplaced to Kentucky within the second spherical of the NCAA Match. Gone from that group is VolleyballMag.com second-team All-American center Lauren Matthews, who hit .422 for her profession. Coach Travis Hudson’s group will probably be led by fifth-year outdoors Paige Briggs and senior center Shannon Keck. And, like in any 12 months, nobody desires to play WKU in December.
No. 25 Arkansas (21-9, 11-7 SEC) — Arkansas was picked to complete fifth within the SEC, however jumped forward of Tennessee and Georgia within the nationwide ballot. Coach Jason Watson’s group is led by the diminuitive outdoors hitters Jill Gillen (5-foot-7) and Taylor Head (5-10). Arkansas will probably be examined early when Wisconsin visits for back-to-back matches August 30-31.
ALSO — The next groups obtained votes: Kansas, Tennessee, Washington, Auburn, UCF, Hawai‘i, Miami (FL), Georgia, LSU, TCU, Illinois, Utah, Iowa State, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Florida State, James Madison.
Fast ideas about that group: Tennessee grad-student proper aspect Morgahn Fingall is definitely worth the worth of admission; Auburn, who has everybody again and made nice additions to a group that made it the second NCAA spherical, is under-valued; UCF has a brand new head coach in Jenny Maurer and has to go it with out the unimaginable McKenna Melville; Hawai’i fifth-year center Amber Igiede, the Large West participant of the 12 months, is a nationwide player-of-the-year candidate; regulate LSU graduate-student center Anita Anwusi, who is prepared for a breakout season; TCU is undervalued; their opponents know that Illinois and Florida State are at all times within the hunt come November; and it’s good to see James Madison, picked to win the Solar Belt East, and coach Lauren Steinbrecher get some love.