The Big Ten volleyball coaches have picked Nebraska to repeat as conference champions.
The preseason poll was released Thursday afternoon, with only the top six teams released. Nebraska is ranked first, followed by Penn State, Purdue, Minnesota, Illinois and Ohio State.
Nebraska won the conference in its first season in the Big Ten last year with a 17-3 conference record. The Huskers clinched the title with one match remaining with a win at Iowa, then lost the final regular-season match at Northwestern.
Last year, Illinois, Penn State and Purdue tied for second in the Big Ten with a 16-4 record.
After winning four straight NCAA titles, Penn State lost in the regional semifinal last year. But the Nittany Lions bring back six starters and three All-Americans.
Illinois was national runner-up in 2011, but lots its top kill leaders in Michelle Bartsch and Colleen Ward, who each had more than 500 kills last season.
Minnesota, which finished fifth last season, is ranked fourth and now has Olympic coach Hugh McCutcheon on the job as head coach.
Penn State is ranked third and Nebraska fourth in the preseason top 25 coaches’ poll.
The Huskers have three players on the preseason All-Big Ten team — setter Lauren Cook and outside hitters Gina Mancuso and Hannah Werth.
Nebraska will host the Red-White Scrimmage on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the NU Coliseum. Tickets are still available for the annual team scrimmage.