Columbia College teams land in preseason top 25

Wednesday, August 18, 2010 | 9:15 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA – The Columbia College volleyball and men's soccer teams have earned spots in NAIA preseason top 25 polls.

The Cougars' volleyball squad received 426 points for a No. 7 ranking. Fresno Pacific (Calif.) University, last year’s NAIA National Champion, holds the top spot with all 19 first place votes and 529 points.

Six Cougars return from the 2009 volleyball team that finished the season with a 38-4 record and appeared at the NAIA National Tournament for the 16th straight season. Under head coach Melinda Wrye-Washington, the Cougars won the American Midwest Conference with a record of 16-0. The team begins the 2010 season Aug. 30 when it hosts Central Methodist.

The Cougars' soccer squad pulled in 329 votes for a No. 14 ranking. Defending National Champion Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) College is in the No. 1 position with all 19 first place votes and 560 points.

Last year’s Cougars soccer team finished the season with a mark of 16-5-1 and a No. 13 ranking in the final NAIA poll. The squad, led by head coach John Klein, returns 13 players from a team that clinched the American Midwest Conference regular season championship and made the program’s second appearance in the NAIA National Tournament. The team hosts John Brown (Ark.) University on Aug. 28 in its 2010 season-opener.

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