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Complete Release in PDF Format

INDIANAPOLIS -- The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has been picked to win the 2009 Horizon League Volleyball Championship in balloting by the conference's nine head coaches.

Milwaukee received 63 of 64 possible points and seven first-place votes as coaches were not permitted to rank their own teams. The Panthers turned in a 23-9 overall record and 13-3 Horizon League mark a year ago en route to their sixth consecutive regular-season conference crown.

Last year's regular-season runner-up Valparaiso University (58 points, two first-place votes) and 2008 tournament finalist Cleveland State University (45) rank second and third in the 2009 preseason poll.

Butler University (42), Wright State University (38) and Loyola University Chicago (33) occupy the middle three spots, while the University of Illinois at Chicago (18), Youngstown State University (17) and the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay (10) round out the field.

Eight All-League performers return for the upcoming campaign. Valparaiso will be led by reigning Player of the Year Angie Porche, a senior outside hitter, and Kim Bukowski, a senior setter. The duo helped Valpo rank No. 1 in the nation in kills per set (15.32) and assists per set (14.26) in 2008.

Senior Lauren Felsing and junior Maddie Sueppel will look to help Milwaukee defend its League title in 2009, while senior Porshia Allen and junior Jessica Wolfe return for Butler, junior Amy Benz is back for Cleveland State and junior Shaunda Sandifer returns for Wright State.

All nine squads begin regular-season play on Friday, Aug. 28. The 2009 Horizon League Volleyball Championship is slated for Nov. 20-22 and will be hosted by the No. 1 seed.

2009 Horizon League Preseason Volleyball Poll

1. Milwaukee
2. Valparaiso
3. Cleveland State
4. Butler
5. Wright State
6. Loyola
7. UIC
8. Youngstown State
9. Green Bay

NOTE: See the full release in PDF format for first-place votes, total points, 2008 record, 2008 tournament seeds and 2008 postseason.

Tags: Milwaukee - Volleyball
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