UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State women's volleyball team enters the 2013 campaign with a No. 2 overall ranking according to the latest AVCA Division I Top 25 Coaches Poll, announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association Monday (Aug. 12). The Lions are one of four Big Ten teams to break into the top 10, with Minnesota and Michigan coming in at No. 6 and No. 7 and Nebraska at No. 10.
Defending NCAA Champion Texas took the top spot, earning 55 of the 60 possible first place votes. The Nittany Lions received three first place votes, while third-ranked Stanford earned two. Rounding out the top five are USC and Washington, who are ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.
Penn State will square off against 11 teams featured in the 2013 AVCA poll, including nine teams ranked in the top 25 and two others receiving votes. PSU kicks off the 2013 season against No. 19 Louisville in the Penn State Invitational before traveling to the Nike Big Four Tournament to meet No. 1 Texas and No. 9 Florida.
The Lions will return home to Rec Hall to open the Big Ten portion of the schedule Friday, Sept. 27 against No. 14 Michigan State, before concluding the weekend with No. 7 Michigan Saturday, Sept. 28. Other ranked Big Ten foes Penn State will see in 2013 include, No. 6 Minnesota, No. 10 Nebraska, No. 16 Purdue and No. 23 Ohio State. Both Illinois and Wisconsin also received votes in the poll.
In his 35th season at the helm of the PSU women's volleyball program, head coach Russ Rose returns 11 letterwinners and six starters from the 2012 squad. The talented group of returners features AVCA First Team All-Americans Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) and Ariel Scott (Ridgewood, N.J.), as well as second-team honoree, Katie Slay (Raleigh, N.C.) and third-team, three-time All-American, Deja McClendon (Louisville, K.Y.).Other top returners include Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Megan Courtney (Dayton, Ohio), Nia Grant (Warren, Ohio) and Dominique Gonzalez (San Antonio, Texas).
Season tickets for the 2013 Penn State women's volleyball season are on sale now and available for purchase by calling 1-800-NITTANY or by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office in the Bryce Jordan Center during normal business hours. Single-game ticket will go on sale Monday, Aug. 19 at noon.