TEMPE, Ariz.—The Arizona State volleyball team will start off the season ranked for the first time since 1996 as it sits at No. 25 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Preseason Poll, the AVCA announced on Monday.
The Sun Devils are one of two teams that ended 2013 unranked, but appear in the first poll of 2014 (joined by No. 23 Creighton). Prior to the 1996 season, ASU was ranked at No. 21, but fell out of the rankings after the second week of competition.
With the 2014 ranking, the Sun Devils have been ranked in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 1992-97 seasons, where the Sun Devils appeared in 56 of the 70 polls released during that span.
Five of ASU’s 2014 opponents placed in the preseason poll: No. 3 Stanford, No. 4 Washington, No. 5 USC, No. 17 Hawaii, and No. 18 Colorado State. Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, and UCLA also received votes toward the poll.
In 2013, ASU was ranked for five consecutive weeks, peaking at No. 15 during the week of Sept. 30.
The first regular-season AVCA poll will be released on Monday, Sept. 1.
The Sun Devils will open the 2014 season at the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational, Aug. 29-31, in Manoa, Hawaii. ASU will play its first home match, an exhibition against Canada’s Mount Royal University, on Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. PT.