LINCOLN — The Nebraska women's gymnastics team was picked 10th in the preseason coaches poll, released Thursday by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches.
Five of the top six teams in the preseason poll are returning Super Six Finalists. Florida was tabbed at No. 1 after taking home the national title last season. Alabama captured the No. 2 spot in the poll, followed by No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 UCLA. LSU is fifth.
“It is an honor to be ranked in the top 10, especially knowing that it was voted on by your fellow coaches,” NU coach Dan Kendig said. “I feel like us coming in 14th overall last year and now today coming in at 10th for preseason, must mean people believe we belong at nationals.”
The Huskers were among six Big Ten teams ranked in the top 25 preseason poll with Michigan coming in at No. 7. Minnesota No. 14, followed by Penn State (No. 16) Illinois (No. 17), and Ohio State (No. 19).
NU returns three previous All-Americans in 2014, including 2013 honorees Jessie DeZiel, and Emily Wong. The duo has captured 13 All-America honors overall, including six first-team accolades. Jamie Schleppenbach also returns to the Husker's roster of returning All-Americans, claiming first-team in 2011.
“From 10th to being in the top six isn't that far off, and that is our goal right now. I feel like if we continue to work the way we have been working and get better each and every day, I think great things can happen for this team,” Kendig said.
The Huskers will face nine teams in their 2014 schedule that are ranked in the preseason top 25 list. Nebraska will open its season on Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. against Northern Illinois at the Devaney Center.