LEXINGTON, Kent. — A lengthy streak continued for Central Oklahoma Tuesday when the Bronchos came in at No. 22 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association's preseason NCAA Division II national rankings.

It marks the 55th consecutive appearance in the top-25 poll for UCO, which dates back to the second poll of the 2015 season. That marked the first-ever ranking for the Bronchos and Edgar Miraku's team has been a fixture ever since.

"Obviously rankings don't mean much at this point when nobody has played, but it's nice that our program is recognized as one of the best in the country," Miraku said. "We've been fortunate to have won a lot of matches over the last few years and have shown that we can consistently compete at a high level."

Defending national champion Tampa topped the rankings, collecting 22 of 25 first-place votes in balloting of head coaches from around the country and finishing with 1,142 points. Cal State-San Bernardino came in second, followed by Western Washington, Washburn and Concordia-St. Pau.

Washburn joined UCO as one of four Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association teams in the poll. Nebraska-Kearney was ranked 11th and Central Missouri 17th.

The Bronchos have won 25-plus matches each of the last five years and are coming off a 27-7 season. Central opens the 2019 campaign Sept. 6-7 at the Eckerd Invitational.

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