Observer Staff

The Eastern Oregon University volleyball team is opening the season today as the No. 10 team in the nation in the NAIA preseason coaches’ poll, which was released Wednesday.

The Mountaineers moved up one spot from their final ranking of the 2018 season, which was 11th. It’s the first time EOU has been ranked in the top 10 in the preseason poll since 2016, when it opened eighth. It’s also the Mountaineers’ first time in the top 10 since the final poll of the 2016 season, when Eastern finished sixth. That fall, the Mountaineers were in the top 10 the entire season after the eighth-place start. It marks the 49th straight time EOU has been ranked, which is the fourth-longest streak in the country behind only Lindsey Wilson (Kentucky), Park (Missouri) and Midland (Nebraska). The Mountaineers have been in every poll since the start of the 2014 season.

EOU is one of four Cascade Collegiate Conference teams in the poll, joined by No. 6 Southern Oregon, No. 12 College of Idaho and No. 19 Corban. Park, the reigning national champion, came in as a unanimous No. 1.

Four of EOU’s nonconference opponents are ranked: No. 3 Grand View (Iowa), No. 22 Bellevue (Nebraska), No. 14 Hastings (Nebraska) and No. 21 Providence (Montana).

EOU began the season today against Florida schools Webber International and Warner.