Panthers Picked As Favorites In Horizon League
Aug. 16, 2012
MILWAUKEE - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's volleyball team has been picked to repeat as Horizon League champions in a preseason poll of the league's coaches.
The Panthers claimed seven first-place votes and 49 points in beating out Cleveland State for the top spot.
The expectations are nothing new for Milwaukee, which will be seeking its third-straight regular season league crown and its ninth in the last 10 seasons.
"It is better to have high expectations than to have no expectations," head coach Susie Johnson said. "You just have to handle it and handle the pressure. You know every team will be playing its best against us and every environment we go into in our league will be at its best. That's all going to happen and we prepare, talk about it and never take a match for granted."
Milwaukee was a perfect 16-0 in the league last season and, in addition to having won 25-straight league contests, the Panthers have won 39 of their last 40 regular season league matches. Milwaukee has also won 17-straight league road matches.
This season, UWM will be led by a group of four returning starters and seven returning letterwinners. The two-person senior class includes Horizon League Tournament MVP Elizabeth Egerer and back row standout Anna Bartz. Honorable mention All-American Rachel Neuberger returns in the middle, with reigning region freshman of the year Kayla Price back to direct the offense.
Horizon League Volleyball Preseason Poll
1. Milwaukee (7) - 49
2. Cleveland State (1) - 43
3. Valparaiso - 36
4. UIC - 29
5. Green Bay - 26
6. Loyola - 21
7. Wright State - 11
8. Youngstown State - 9