Contact: Mark Albanese, Director of Sports Communication
HILLSBORO, Ore. - The Pacific Lutheran University volleyball squad heads into the 2017 season ranked second in the Northwest Conference after the league office unveiled its preseason coaches' poll on Tuesday.
The Lutes (13-11, 11-5 NWC in 2016) secured 56 points in the poll and one first place vote to snag the second spot in the preseason rankings. Defending conference champion Whitworth University (21-6, 15-1 NWC) claims the top spot in the poll, garnering 72 points along with the remaining eight first place endorsements. Crosstown nemesis University of Puget Sound (15-9, 10-6 NWC) was picked third, collecting 52 points while Linfield College (13-9, 8-8 NWC) and Whitman College (11-13, 8-8 NWC) sit tied for fourth after both accumulating 34 points.
Pacific University (14-12, 8-8 NWC) ranks sixth with 32 points followed by Willamette University (8-16, 6-10 NWC) in seventh with 26 points. Lewis & Clark College (5-18, 4-12 NWC) occupies the eighth spot with 18 points with George Fox University (4-20, 2-14 NWC) rounding out the poll in ninth with nine points.
Voting was conducted by the league's nine head coaches with each coach selecting the order of finish of the eight other NWC institutions.
PLU, Northwest Conference Champions in eight of the last 13 seasons, begins the regular season on Sept. 1, trekking across town to the Puget Sound Premiere to face the University of Saint Thomas at 1 p.m. and Edgewood College at 5 p.m. The Lutes open NWC play on Sept. 15, hosting Whitworth at 7 p.m.