July 15, 1997
Spartans Picked to Finish Second in Conference Volleyball Race
In a preseason poll, the Big Ten volleyball coaches unanimously picked Penn State to defend its 1996 conference co-championship. The Spartans, who tied the Nittany Lions in league play with an 18-2 record last year, were picked to finish second.
The Nittany Lions received 11 possible first-place votes for 121 points, outdistancing the two-time defending champion Spartans with 109 points. Wisconsin (95 pts.), Ohio State (81) and Minnesota (77) rounded out the top five.
The Spartans could tie a Big Ten record by winning its third Big Ten title this season. Only once since league competition began in 1981 has a team won three Conference titles in consecutive years, that being Illinois from 1986-88.
Big Ten coaches also voted on a 12-member preseason All-Big Ten team with junior outside hitter Jenna Wrobel, a two-time First-Team All-Big Ten selection, and senior outside hitter Veronica Morales, a three-time Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection, representing MSU.
The Spartans, who were 26-7 overall last season and NCAA regional finalists, open the 1997 season August 29-30 when they host Duke, Southern California and Xavier in the Goff/MSU Volleyball Classic at Jenison Field House.
Preseason Big Ten Volleyball Poll
School (1st place votes)
1. Penn State (11) 121
2. Michigan State 109
3. Wisconsin 95
4. Ohio State 81
5. Minnesota 77
6. Illinois 67
7. Michigan 60
8. Indiana 41
9. Purdue 35
10. Iowa 26
11. Northwestern 15
Preseason All-Big Ten Volleyball Team (coaches vote)
Player School Pos. Yr.
Vanessa Wouters *Ohio State OH Sr.
Bonnie Bremner *Penn State S So.
Lauren Cacciamani *Penn State MH So.
Terri Zemaitis *Penn State MH Sr.
Mary Coleman Illinois OH Jr.
Tracey Marshall Illinois OH So.
Sarah Jackson Michigan MB Sr.
Veronica Morales Michigan State OH Sr.
Jenna Wrobel Michigan State OH Jr.
Becky Bauer Minnesota S Sr.
Heather Dodaro Wisconsin MB Sr.
Amy Lee Wisconsin OH Sr.