NCAA runner-up Wisconsin tops spring AVCA women's poll

The defending national champion Badgers are No. 1 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association spring preseason poll. Tom Lynn/Wisconsin Athletic Communications

Wisconsin, last season's national runner-up in women's volleyball, is No. 1 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association spring preseason poll.

The AVCA had a fall poll for teams from conferences that took part in the sport then: the ACC, Big 12, SEC and Sun Belt. Nine of those teams remain in the spring poll, led by No. 2 Texas, which went 14-0 in the fall.

The two most successful women's volleyball conferences -- the Pac-12 and Big Ten -- are playing spring seasons, as they were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic in the fall. In all, there are six Big Ten teams and four Pac-12 teams in the preseason poll. The Big Ten's conference-only schedule begins Jan. 22. The Pac-12 has not yet announced its schedule.

Defending national champion Stanford, which lost five key seniors including final four most outstanding player Kathryn Plummer to graduation, is No. 3. The Cardinal have won nine NCAA titles, including three of the last four.

The women's volleyball final four, usually held in December, will be April 22-24 in Omaha, Nebraska. The NCAA selection committee will announce the bracket on April 4; it will be a 48-team field with 16 at-large bids, rather than the standard 64 teams. The sites for NCAA tournament matches other than the final four have not yet been announced.

Here is the complete poll (* -- indicates team that played fall season):

1. Wisconsin
2. Texas-*
3. Stanford
4. Kentucky-*
5. Nebraska
6. Baylor-*
7. Minnesota
8. Washington
9. Penn State
10. Utah
11. Florida-*
12. Louisville-*
13. Purdue
14. Notre Dame-*
15. Creighton
16. BYU
17. Missouri-*
18. Georgia Tech-*
19. Pittsburgh-*
20. Marquette
21. Hawaii
22. UCLA
23. San Diego
24. Michigan
25. Western Kentucky