The Minnesota volleyball team was picked to finish second in the Big Ten Coaches Preseason Coaches poll according to an announcement by the conference office on Thursday, August 14.
Defending national champion Penn State was picked to win the Big Ten by the coaches. Wisconsin was picked to finish third, while Purdue, Illinois, Michigan, Northwestern, Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana and Iowa rounded out the poll.
The Golden Gophers also had two players named to the Preseason All-Big Ten team, as sophomore middle blocker Lauren Gibbemeyer (St. Paul, Minn.) and sophomore outside hitter Brook Dieter (Bloomington, Minn.) each were tabbed with the honors.
Minnesota was one of only three teams in the conference to have multiple players named Preseason All-Big Ten. Penn State (outside Hitter - Nicole Fawcett, setter - Alisha Glass, middle blocker - Christa Harmotto, outside hitter - Meghan Hodge, middle blocker - Arielle Wilson) had five players named to the team, while Wisconsin (outside hitter Brittney Dolgner, outside hitter/middle blocker Audra Jeffers) had two members named to the team.
Illinois outside hitter Laura DeBruler, Michigan setter Lexi Zimmerman and Purdue middle blocker Stephanie Lynch also were named to the Preseason All-Big Ten team.
Last year, Minnesota was picked third in the Preseason Coaches Poll and tied for third in the conference in 2007 at 11-9. The Golden Gophers have finished third or better in the Big Ten in eight of the last nine years.