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
Preseason All-Big Ten Volleyball Team (coaches vote)
at the official