Published Monday, March 4, 2013 at 7:49 pm / Updated at 8:00 pm
sand volleyball
Huskers ninth in AVCA sand vollleyball preseason poll
AVCA sand volleyball poll
1. Pepperdine
2. Long Beach State
3. USC
4. Florida State
5. Hawaii
6. UCLA
7. College of Charleston
8. Florida International
9. Nebraska
10. Stanford

The AVCA's preseason top 10 sand volleyball rankings reflected the respect Nebraska's sand program has received despite not playing a match on the beach until next week.

The ratings also make it official the Huskers will face most of the nation's top beach clubs in NU's inaugural season.

Nebraska, which checked in at No. 9 in the preseason poll released Monday, will face the top six teams in the country during its first beach season from March 14 to 22 at sites in southern California.

The Huskers open beach play with a single match against No. 4 Florida State in Chula Vista, Calif., on March 14. NU will then play in a tournament at the same site March 15 and 16 that includes the Seminoles and No. 1-ranked Pepperdine, the defending national champion.

Nebraska faces No. 2 Long Beach State in Long Beach on March 19 and No. 6 UCLA on March 21 in Santa Monica, before concluding the season on March 22 with matches against No. 3 Southern California and No. 5 Hawaii in Los Angeles.

The matchup with Pepperdine would be one to keep an eye on for NU fans, as the Waves recently added two former Huskers to their squad.

Elkhorn South graduate Lauren Sieckmann, who left the NU program and transferred to Wayne State after the 2011 season, is now at Pepperdine, as is Lara Dykstra, who started every match at libero for Nebraska the last two years. Dykstra announced her departure following the end of the indoor season in December.

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