The Iowa State volleyball team was picked to finish third in the 2014 Big 12 Preseason Volleyball Poll, released Friday. This marks the sixth consecutive season that the Cyclones have been picked to finish among the conference’s top-three squads prior to the start of the season.
Iowa State is coming off its eighth-consecutive NCAA Volleyball Championship appearance in 2013, finishing with an 18-10 record overall and tied for third in the Big 12 with an 11-5 conference mark. ISU returns 11 letterwinners from last season’s squad, including 2014 Big 12 Preseason Team selections Mackenzie Bigbee and Victoria Hurtt.
2013 NCAA National Semifinalists Texas was the unanimous selection to finish first in the Big 12. The Longhorns became the first Big 12 team since the 2004 Nebraska Cornhuskers to go undefeated in Big 12 matches at 16-0. UT’s last loss in conference came at Hilton Coliseum in Nov. 2012 against Iowa State in five sets.
Kansas, who made its first NCAA Regional Semifinals appearance in program history in 2013, is picked to finish second. ISU and KU split last season’s regular season series, with Iowa State winning a five-set classic in Lawrence before Kansas evened the season series with a four-set win in Ames.
Oklahoma is picked to finish fourth, followed by Kansas State in fifth and Baylor in sixth. TCU and West Virginia are tied for seventh in the preseason poll, and Texas Tech rounds it out in ninth.
Iowa State will open its regular season three weeks from tonight on Aug. 29 at 7 p.m. against Stanford as part of the AVCA Showcase. On Saturday, Aug. 23 ISU will host its annual Cardinal and Gold Scrimmage starting at 1 p.m. at Hilton Coliseum.
(release courtesy of Cyclone Athletics)