Aug 14, 2014 8:36 PM
For only the second time in the 35-year history of the program, the Colorado College volleyball team will begin a season with a top-10 national ranking.
The Tigers, who return five starters and their libero from last year's team that posted a 35-5 record and advanced to the regional final of the NCAA Championship, hold the No. 8 spot in the American Volleyball Coaches Association's Division III Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll.
"It's an honor to be ranked in the top ten," Head Coach Rick Swan said. "However, we understand that preseason rankings are based on what you accomplished in the past. Our goal is to be ranked near the top going into the NCAA Tournament."
It marks the sixth consecutive year that CC was ranked in the preseason top-25. The program's highest ranking to begin a season was No. 5 in 2010.
Defending national champion Calvin College received 56 of 60 first-place votes and earned the No. 1 position with 1,490 points. Emory University, which defeated Colorado College in four sets in the regional final, was second with 1,393 points. The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1,344), Hope College (1,322) and the University of St. Thomas (1,193) rounded out the top five.
The Tigers have four matches scheduled against teams ranked in the top 25 - two against No. 13 Trinity University and one against No. 20 Clarkson University and No. 25 Christopher Newport University. CC also has three matches against opponents that are receiving votes - two versus Southwestern University and another against Pomona-Pitzer Colleges.
"We're excited to get back in the gym and begin our preseason," Swan said. "We have an experienced team returning and some talented new players who can contribute.
"The team has set some very high goals," Swan said. "We had a great run in last year's NCAA Tournament and we want to go even farther this year."
The 2014 campaign begins on Friday, Aug. 29, with home matches against Blackburn College and the University of Minnesota-Morris on the opening day of the Colorado College Invitational.