For the fourth straight year, the Wisconsin volleyball team opens the season among the top-10 teams in the country. The Badgers are ranked No. 7 in the 2017 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top-25 preseason poll, released on Wednesday.
It is the ninth time in program history that UW is ranked in the top-10 and the fourth straight year under head coach Kelly Sheffield. Wisconsin was ranked fourth in 2016, tied for fifth in 2015 and sixth in 2014.
Texas (27-5 in 2016) leads the poll with reigning NCAA champion Stanford (27-7) coming in second. Washington (29-5), Minnesota (29-5) and Nebraska (31-3) round out the top five, respectively.
The Big Ten Conference dominates the poll with four teams in the top 10 and eight teams in the top 25. Penn State ranks sixth with the Badgers seventh. Michigan and Michigan State are 16th and 17th, respectively. Ohio State comes in at number-21 while Purdue rounds out the poll at number-25.
The Badgers opened practice on Tuesday and will host a Cardinal vs. White scrimmage on Aug. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the UW Field House. The regular season kicks off on Aug. 25-26 when Wisconsin hosts the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.