Volleyball Begins Season Ranked No. 14 in the Nation

Aug. 17, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The Kentucky volleyball team will being its 2010 season ranked as the nation's No. 14 team in the country it was announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, Tuesday evening. With the 2010 preseason ranking it marks 26 consecutive polls the Wildcats have been among the nation's top-25 rated teams.

Kentucky's 2010 preseason ranking of No. 14 is the second highest preseason rating in program history. The 1983 squad began the year ranked No. 13.

The Wildcats are coming off their best season ever under head coach Craig Skinner. UK charted a 29-5 overall record en route to its first Sweet Sixteen appearance under Skinner. The Blue and White also captured the Southeastern Conference's Eastern Division crown for the first time in program history.

UK has appeared in five consecutive NCAA Tournaments, a program best for consecutive postseason runs, and is one of just 20 teams in the country to achieve that feat. The Wildcats capped the year as the nation's No. 12 squad after taking the tournament's No. 3 overall seed in Florida State to a wild five-set match before the Seminoles prevailed 15-13 in the fifth and deciding frame.

Heading into his sixth season at the helm, Skinner returns six players who participated in over 30 of UK's matches a year ago, including four starters. Senior Lauren Rapp and junior Becky Pavan were named to the preseason All-SEC team announced earlier on Tuesday.

Kentucky's schedule includes six teams ranked in the 2010 preseason poll including its first matchup of the year against No. 2 Nebraska on Aug. 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET. Other teams UK will see in the non-conference slate are No. 9 Iowa State and No. 15 Florida State. Two more teams, Ohio State and Cincinnati, are among those teams receiving votes to begin the year.

Four SEC squads are among the top-25 in the year's first poll. Florida, Tennessee and LSU join the Blue and White in representing the conference. All four teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament a year ago.

Follow along all year at Kentucky's official homepage for the most up-to-date information and news regarding the UK volleyball team and all of UK's 22 varsity sports.

2010 AVCA Preseason Poll

1) Penn State
2) Nebraska
3) Texas
4) Stanford
5) Hawaii
T-6) Illinois
T-6) Minnesota
8) Washington
9) Iowa State
10) Southern California
11) California
12) Michigan
13) Florida
14) Kentucky
15) Florida State
16) UCLA
17) Colorado State
18) Arizona
19) Tennessee
20) Oregon
21) Dayton
22) San Diego
23) LSU
24) Northern Iowa
25) St. Mary's (Calif.)

Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots: Long Beach State; Baylor; Ohio State; Texas A&M; Oklahoma; Duke; Cincinnati; UC Santa Barbara; Utah; Pepperdine; UC Irvine; Notre Dame; Ohio; Saint Louis; New Mexico; New Mexico State; San Diego State; Georgia Tech; Rice; Michigan State; Santa Clara; Wisconsin; Wichita State; Florida International; Missouri State