Wildcats Begin Season Ranked No. 21

Aug. 19, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky volleyball team will begin the 2009 campaign ranked No. 21 in the country as voted on by the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Coaches' poll.

The Wildcats received 288 votes for a No. 21 ranking after capping the 2008 season ranked No. 22. Head Coach Craig Skinner's squad returns five starters and its starting libero to a 26-6 team from a year ago. UK returns 11 letterwinners from last season's squad that finished second overall in the Southeastern Conference and made a school-record fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

UK has three opponents rated in the top-25 in the country with Florida (8), Purdue (19) and Kansas State (22) all garnering a ranking. The Blue and White face Purdue and Kansas State in back-to-back days at the Kansas State tournament Sept. 11 and 12.

Also receiving votes in the preseason poll were LSU, Tennessee and Louisville who the Wildcats will also face this season. The Blue and White will take on LSU and Tennessee on national television when ESPNU broadcasts the first meetings between the Wildcats and both opponents. Kentucky travels to Louisville on Sept. 16.

Reigning NCAA Champion Penn State begins the year at the top of the rankings followed by Final Four participants Texas and Nebraska.

The preseason ranking for the Wildcats is just the fourth such rating in school history. Previously, UK was last ranked in the preseason poll in 1993 when they came in at No. 18. Prior to that, Kentucky was ranked No. 23 (1992), and No. 13 (1983) to begin the season.

Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for complete coverage of the Kentucky volleyball team.

AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Poll
2009 Preseason Poll: August 18, 2009
1. Penn State (52)
2. Texas (6)
3. Nebraska
4. Washington (2)
5. Stanford
6. California
7. Hawai'i
8. Florida
9. UCLA
10. Illinois
11. Minnesota
12. Southern California
13. Iowa State
14. Oregon
15. San Diego
16. Michigan
17. Utah
18. Wichita State
19. Purdue
20. Saint Louis
21. Kentucky
22. Kansas State
23. Long Beach State
24. Colorado State
25. Santa Clara

Others Receiving Votes and appearing on two or more ballots: Pepperdine, Duke, Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Western Michigan, New Mexico State, Wright State, St. Mary's (Ca.), UC Irvine, Tulane, Ohio, LSU, Arizona, Cal Poly, Tennessee, Louisville, Michigan State, San Francisco, Baylor, Missouri State, Oklahoma, Middle Tennessee, Rice

*2009 Kentucky opponents listed in bold