With five of six starters back from a team that is the reigning national runner-up, the University’s volleyball team was voted No. 1 in the 2003 American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 preseason poll.
The Bears tallied 388 points in the poll, including eight first-place votes, putting them 19 points ahead of second-ranked Juniata College. Trinity University (Texas) is ranked third with 356 points, and defending national champion University of Wisconsin-Whitewater is fourth with 335. California State University, Hayward, rounds out the top five with 321 points.
Washington U. went 41-2 in 2002, falling one win shy of winning an NCAA Division III-record eighth national championship. The Bears made their 16th NCAA Tournament appearance last season after winning their 14th straight University Athletic Association title.
WUSTL opens this season Aug. 29-30 at the Elmhurst Invitational in Elmhurst, Ill. The Bears begin the tournament against Hope College.