Last year, ACU's volleyball team faced five nationally-ranked opponents during the regular season. This season won't be much different. The American Volleyball Coaches Association via the CBS College Sports Network released the NCAA Division II Preseason top 25 today.
Two familiar faces are on the board, most notably West Texas A&M who begins the season ranked No. 5 in the country. This gives our friends from Canyon two teams in the national top 10 (the football program is ranked No. 10 in the AFCA poll). ACU will face the Lady Buffs Sept. 27 in Abilene at Moody Coliseum.
Central Oklahoma didn't crack the top 25 but received 24 points in the poll, which makes the Bronchos unofficially the 31st ranked team in the country prior to the 2008 season. The Wildcats will also play host to UCO Oct. 25.
The Pittsburg State Invitational Oct. 3-4 could prove to be a tough road trip for the Wildcats. Two of their four matches include Central Missouri and the hosts. Central Missouri (ACU plays CMU Oct. 3) is ranked No. 13 entering the season and Pittsburg State is ranked No. 17 (ACU plays PSU Oct. 4).
Other notes around ACU athletics:
• Abilene has enjoyed several inches of rain the past few days, however, it has slowed the practices for football and women's soccer. The soccer team canceled its Tuesday scrimmage and hopes to work one in on Wednesday. When weather has forced the soccer team to miss practices all together, the team has been limited to conditioning on the track. The football team has had to re-arrange several practices around the weather as well.
• Read the official 2008 ACU Women's Soccer Preview by clicking here.
• Another 55 football players showed up for physicals this weekend as football prepares for the season. Most returnees and recruits immediately ready for on-the-field action reported last week, but this weekend saw the final wave of incoming players.
• ACU's newest two administrators haven't had much of a chance to ease into the job. I saw a line of several athletes in a cue waiting to talk with the new assistant athletic director for compliance, Barry Pupella, as he was walking them through the Aprende Technologies online software to help keep our athletes eligible and compliant throughout the academic school year. Nate Davis, the assistant athletic director for operations, arrived Aug. 6 and is already tackling sponsors for ACU's athletic broadcasts and preparing for the upcoming year.
• Ten days after the debut of the ACU Sports Blog, we had already reached the 1,000 visits mark. For those of you who've visited thanks, and help us by spreading the word to other alums and Wildcat fans!
• Minus the intrasquad scrimages and maybe some weather permitting exhibitions, the athletic school year kicks off Aug. 29. That day the volleyball team has two matches at the Lady Buff Classic while the soccer team plays in Missouri. From the time of this post, the kickoff for one of the biggest, if not the biggest, non-conference NCAA Division II football game in the nation between the No. 8-ranked ACU and No. 3-ranked Northwest Missouri State in Maryville, Mo. is in 10 days, 21 hours and 37 minutes.