Wisconsin takes top honors in 2022 Big Ten preseason volleyball poll


ROSEMONT, Ill. – Defending NCAA national champion and three-time defending Big Ten Conference champion Wisconsin has been selected as the preseason favorite to win its fourth straight Big Ten title, according to the Preseason Volleyball Poll. -Big Ten 2022 season and all-conference roster announced Monday. All 14 Big Ten coaches entered the ballot and were allowed to vote for their own teams and players.

Eight members of the preseason All-Big Ten Conference team are scheduled to participate in the first Big Ten Conference Volleyball Media Days to be held Monday and Tuesday at Big Ten Network studios in Chicago. The Big Ten Conference is the first conference in the nation to host an in-person preseason volleyball media event.


Wisconsin, which won its first national championship (and the ninth by a Big Ten school in the last 15 seasons) last December with a 3-2 win over Nebraska in the title game, is looking to become the first program to win four straight conference titles since Penn State won eight in a row from 2003 to 2010. Nebraska finished second in Monday’s Big Ten preseason poll, followed by Minnesota and State of Ohio, with Penn State rounding out the top five.

Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin each had three players named to the 15-person Big Ten preseason all-conference team (an additional player was named to the team due to a tie in the vote). The Huskers were represented by a senior outside hitter Madi Kubik (the team’s only unanimous selection from all preseason conferences), senior middle tackle Kaitlyn Horde and second libero / defensive specialist Lexi Rodriguez.

Ohio State’s all-preseason conference trio included an opposing junior Emilie Londotsenior setter Mac Podraza and junior intermediate blocker Rylee Rader. Wisconsin’s preseason winners were the redshirted second-year outside hitter Sarah Franklinjunior center blocker/right side Devyn Robinson and second central blocker / right side Anna Smrek.

Of the 15 members of the Big Ten preseason squad, eight AVCA All-Americans are returning from the 2021 season — first-team selection Rodriguez (who is also the reigning AVCA National Freshman of the Year), the second-team picks Hord (who previously attended Penn State) and Rader, third-team picks Kubik and Podraza, and honorable mention AVCA All-Americans Londot, Michigan junior outside hitter Jess Mruzik and Minnesota-certified libero/defensive specialist CC McGraw.

Rounding out the preseason all-conference squad are two of last season’s first-team All-Big Ten selections in Maryland’s graduate middle tackle Rainelle Jones and North West senior outside hitter Temi Thomas Ailaraas well as a second-team conference recipient in Minnesota’s junior outside hitter Jenna Wenaasand Illinois junior outside hitter Raina Terry.

Big Ten teams will open the 2022 season on August 26-27, featuring a handful of Big Ten/Big 12 Challenge games. Minnesota and Wisconsin will travel to Fort Worth, TX to take on Baylor and host TCU, while Ohio State hosts Texas for a pair of games at the Covelli Center in Columbus, Ohio.

Fans can find the latest updates on Big Ten Conference volleyball by following the Big Ten Volleyball Twitter feed (@B1GVolleyball) and the Big Ten Network’s volleyball-focused Instagram account (@B1GVolleyball). Throughout the season, both accounts will host original videos, highlights and custom content featuring some of the most competitive and exciting volleyball in the country.

The full 2022 Big Ten Conference preseason poll and all-conference team are as follows:


3. Minnesota
4. Ohio State
5. Penn State
6. (tie) Illinois
(tie) Michigan
9. Northwest
11. State of Michigan