Way-Too-Early 2018 VM Top 25 (#21-25): Marquette Returns All Starters

  0 Derek Johnson | May 28th, 2018 | Big 12, Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News, WCC

We are 12 weeks away from the first week of the 2018 Division I women’s volleyball season. With that being said, it’s time for VolleyMob’s Way-Too-Early 2018 Preseason Top 25.

Since these rankings are early and we don’t necessarily have the full picture in terms of recruiting and transfers still to come, most of this is based on experience and starters returning. As we move closer to the fall, we will update our rankings as needed. Until then, we will release five teams at a time this week, leading to the culmination of #1-5 on Friday. To get things started we give you teams #21-25 below:


  • 2017 Finish/Rank: Second Round, #18 in final VM Top 25
  • 2017 Record: 25-5 (17-1 WCC)
  • Starters Likely Returning for 2018: 4
  • Key Returners: MB Addison Picha (2017 AVCA All-America HM), MB Kaity Edwards (2017 WCC HM), OH Roxie Wiblin (2017 WCC Freshman Team)
  • Key Losses: S Kristen Gengenbacher (2017 AVCA Third-Team AA), RS Jayden Kennedy (2017 AVCA All-America HM)
  • Bottom Line: The Toreros have been on a strong run as a program and were co-WCC champions a season ago as they were hot headed into the tournament. They came close to upending USC but couldn’t finish the job and will look for another strong season with plenty back but also plenty to replace led by one of the best setters in the country in Gengenbacher. Adding a high-end talent in Penn State transfer Cami May should also give the team a strong replacement for Kennedy.


  • 2017 Finish/Rank: Second Round, #21 in final VM Top 25
  • 2017 Record: 22-7 (11-5 Big 12)
  • Starters Likely Returning for 2018: 3 + Libero
  • Key Returners: L Hali Hillegas (2017 AVCA All-America HM, Big 12 LOTY), OH Jess Schaben (2017 AVCA All-America HM), MB Avery Rhodes (2017 Big 12 Freshman Team)
  • Key Losses: RS Samara West (2017 Big 12 First Team)
  • Bottom Line: The Cyclones continue to rack up top three finishes in the Big 12 and should be projected to do more of the same in 2018. The loss of West hurts, but they have plenty of depth coming back to join three starters and the libero returning to make this another consistently solid season.


  • 2017 Finish/Rank: Second Round, #19 in final VM Top 25
  • 2017 Record: 23-10 (12-8 Big Ten)
  • Starters Likely Returning for 2018: 3 + Libero
  • Key Returners: RS Sherridan Atkinson (2017 AVCA Third-Team AA)
  • Key Losses: MB/OH Danielle Cuttino (2017 AVCA First-Team AA), S Ashley Evans (2017 AVCA All-America HM)
  • Bottom Line: Purdue will have to overcome some critical losses heading into 2018, but they have some nice options returning – both in starters and off the bench from 2017. If their recruiting class – which is highly touted – blends in well with what they have back, they should stick near the top half of the loaded Big Ten.


  • 2017 Finish/Rank: Second Round, #24 in final VM Top 25
  • 2017 Record: 27-3 (16-0 Big West)
  • Starters Likely Returning for 2018: 4 + Libero
  • Key Returners: OH Adlee Van Winden (2017 AVCA All-America HM), RS Torrey Van Winden (2017 AVCA All-America HM), L Katherine Brouker (2017 Big West HM), MB Madilyn Mercer (2017 Big West Freshman Team)
  • Key Losses: S Taylor Nelson (2017 AVCA All-America HM, Big West POTY), OH Raeann Greisen (2017 Big West First-Team), MB Savannah Niemen (2017 Big West First-Team)
  • Bottom Line: Cal Poly should once again make for an interesting race with Hawaii atop the Big West, and will likely be the conference favorite. They’ll have to prove they can overcome the loss of the Big West Player of the Year in Nelson, but Adlee Van Winden could take the baton and win the award. The loss of Niemen and Greisen also hurts, but Greisen was seldom a starter after non-conference play and the Mustangs have plenty of firepower returning along with a transfer addition in former Duke OH Jamie Stivers.


  • 2017 Finish/Rank: First Round, UR in final VM Top 25
  • 2017 Record: 22-10 (15-3 Big East)
  • Starters Likely Returning for 2018: 6 + Libero
  • Key Returners: OH Allie Barber (2017 AVCA All-America HM, Big East POTY), MB Jenna Rosenthal (2017 Big East First-Team), S Lauren Speckman (2017 Big East Second-Team), OH Hope Werch (2017 Big East FOTY)
  • Key Losses: None with award recognition
  • Bottom Line: The Golden Eagles weren’t far off from being on the cusp of the VolleyMob Top 25 Power Rankings, as they were for a majority of the year but lost their final two matches. They should take their experience from last year and build on it in 2018 with all of their starters back and should give Creighton everything they can handle with a Big East crown on the line.

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