CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois volleyball received votes in the AVCA Coaches Preseason poll released on Tuesday. Texas holds down the top spot garnering 44 first place votes, followed by Wisconsin (7) and Stanford (13) in the top three. Six Big Ten teams start out the year in the Top 25, with Nebraska tied for 5th, Minnesota 7th, Penn State 8th, Ohio State 14th and Purdue 16th.

Illinois opens its season with an exhibition match on Wednesday night at Huff Hall against Eastern Illinois at 6 p.m. The match is part of a new look schedule this year for the Illini, who will play seven of their 11 non-conference matches against teams from less than 200 miles from Champaign.

“We’re playing midweeks, we’re playing every third day, every fourth day, and so it didn’t make sense for me to travel the team across the country and then come back and have a day off you’re resting from your travel and then get up and play again,” Illinois head coach Chris Tamas said. “We’re fortunate enough to have good teams in our state, and around our state, who are still very competitive and do well in their conferences and I also saw it as an opportunity. NIL is a thing and we want to showcase our team around the state.”

The regular season opener for the Illini is next Saturday, Aug. 26 at Northern Illinois. The home opener for the Orange and Blue is set for Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. against Valparaiso.

RankSchool (First-Place Votes Adjusted)Total Points AdjustedRecordPrevious Week
1Texas [44]15640-0NA
2Wisconsin [7]14890-0NA
3Stanford [13]14490-0NA
8Penn State10910-0NA
13San Diego7600-0NA
14Ohio State7450-0NA
20Georgia Tech3940-0NA
21Washington State3590-0NA
22Southern California2040-0NA
24Western Kentucky1810-0NA

Others receiving votes and listed on two or more ballots: Kansas 99; Tennessee 84; Washington 63; Auburn 62; UCF 53; Hawai‘i 49; Miami (FL) 45; Georgia 35; LSU 28; TCU 20; Illinois 18; Utah 18; Iowa State 14; Loyola Marymount 14; Pepperdine 14; Florida State 12; James Madison 5