St. Louis, Mo., Aug. 14, 2013 – The Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team begins the 2013 season ranked No. 7 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Coaches Top-25 Preseason Poll, as announced Wednesday by the association.
Defending NCAA Division III national champion University of St. Thomas (Minn.) garnered 47 of the 48 first-place votes to rank first in the preseason poll. Calvin College, Wittenberg University and Elmhurst College were ranked second through fourth, respectively. Christopher Newport University, who received the other first-place vote, and Hope College were tied at No. 5 in the poll.
Washington U. is scheduled to face nine of the top-25 teams this season: No. 2 Calvin, No. 3 Wittenberg, No. 4 Elmhurst, No. 5 Hope, No. 8 Emory University, No. 12 University of Chicago, No. 13 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, No. 20 Juniata College and No. 21 Pacific Lutheran University. The Bears will also face three teams who were among those receiving votes: University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Cornell College (Iowa) and Ohio Northern University.
Washington University has been ranked in the AVCA Coaches Poll all 224 weeks since 1992. The 2013 preseason poll marked the 223rd time the Bears have been ranked in the top-10, including the past 163 polls in a row.
Washington U. returns four starters and 12 letter winners from the 2012 squad that finished with a 31-4 overall record. The Bears finished second in the University Athletic Association (UAA) and advanced to the NCAA Division III Regional Championship for the 26th year in a row.
The Bears begin the 2013 season with eight-straight home matches, including two against top-25 opponents. Washington U. squares off against Webster University in the season opener at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30, in the WU Field House.