MANHATTAN, Kan. The Kansas State volleyball team is again anticipated to be one of the premier programs in the nation in 2008 as the No. 14 team on the CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Division I Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll. The Wildcats move up from 16th in the final poll last season after going 23-9 and reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Defending national champion Penn State is atop the list with 59 of 60 first place votes, and K-State is joined by three other Big 12 Conference teams in the Top 25 as Texas leads the way at No. 3. Nebraska comes in at No. 7 with the remaining first place vote, and Iowa State rounds out Big 12 teams at No. 18. Texas A&M and Oklahoma both received votes.
The poll was dominated by the Big 12, Big Ten and Pacific 10 with a total of 14 teams together. The Big Ten Conference also had four teams in the Top 25 with Wisconsin (13), Minnesota (16) and Purdue (25) all making the list with Penn State. The Pacific 10 led all conferences with six teams in the Top 25, including five of the Top 10: Stanford (2), Southern California (4), California (5), UCLA (6), Washington (9) and Oregon (11).
In addition to the three other Big 12 teams in the rankings, the Wildcats will play Purdue to give them four opponents ranked in the preseason poll. K-State also plays Duke from the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the Blue Devils are receiving votes in the poll.
The No. 14 Wildcats open their season at the Mortar Board Premier hosted by Purdue on August 29 and will take on both the Boilermakers and Blue Devils at the round-robin tournament over opening weekend.
Fans get their first chance to see the 2008 edition of the Wildcats on Saturday at Ahearn Field House in a day full of volleyball activities. The annual Alumni Match will take place at 6 p.m. with the Purple/White Match following shortly after. Saturday also will be Media Day as coaches and players will be available for interview to media members beginning at 4:30 p.m.