Ogden, Utah – In a vote by the league's head coaches, the Eastern Washington women's volleyball team has been tabbed to finish seventh in the Big Sky Preseason Poll as announced by the conference office Tuesday, Aug. 12.
The Eagles received 60 points, finishing 24 points behind sixth-ranked Portland State, last season's Big Sky regular season champion, and 11 points ahead of eighth-placed Sacramento State.
"It's hard to project where our team will fit in the conference," said associate head coach Michael King. "The strength of our program is in the leadership of the senior class. Our players know we are a very good volleyball team. I'm excited about the level of talent we have coming in this season. I think EWU fans are going to see a hard-working team that strives for success every day this season."
Idaho State, the reigning Big Sky Tournament champion, and Northern Arizona were selected as co-favorites to win the 2014 Big Sky title. The two teams received four first-place votes and 108 points, respectively.
In its first year back in the Big Sky since 1996, Idaho was picked to finish third, receiving two first-place votes and 95 points. North Dakota received the final two first-place votes and totaled 92 points while Northern Colorado earned 86 points to round out the top five.
Eastern returns five starters and eight letter winners from last year's squad that finished eighth in the Big Sky. A massive recruiting effort saw the addition of 10 new faces in time for EWU's 2014 campaign, but the Eagles will be without head coach Wade Benson for an indefinite amount of time after spending the offseason undergoing cancer treatments.
EWU kicks off its 2014 season with its annual alumni match, set for Sunday, Aug. 24, at 1 p.m.