Ogden, Utah – The Eastern Washington University volleyball team has been tabbed to finish eighth in the 2015 Big Sky Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll, the league office announced Tuesday, Aug. 11.
EWU received 52 points in a vote by the conference's coaches, finishing just one point behind seventh-ranked Montana and 18 ahead of ninth-placed Southern Utah.
Idaho State, last season's Big Sky regular season champion, was once again atop the poll, receiving 108 points and four first-place votes.
Northern Arizona received 106 points and three first-place votes to come in second while North Dakota also garnered three first-place votes but received 101 points to come in third.
Northern Colorado, the reigning Big Sky Tournament champion, rounds out the top four with 101 points and two first-place votes. Idaho, who received 84 points, and Portland State, who received 65 points, placed fifth and sixth, respectively.
The top eight teams qualify for spots in the conference tournament at the end of the regular season. The Eagles fell just shy of returning to the Big Sky Tournament last season, owning the best record of any team not to make the field.
Eastern returns three starters and eight letter winners from last year's team. Three players are coming off redshirt seasons while six newcomers have joined the program in the offseason.
EWU kicks off its 2015 campaign with its annual alumni match, set for this Sunday, Aug. 16, at 1 p.m. in Reese Court.
2015 Big Sky Conference Preseason Coaches' Poll
|Rank||Team||Points (First Place Votes)|
|1.||Idaho State||108 (4)|
|2.||Northern Arizona||106 (3)|
|3.||North Dakota||101 (3)|
|4.||Northern Colorado||101 (2)|
|Weber State|| 30