The UNI volleyball team has lofty expectations as they prepare for the start of the 2002/2003 season. Northern Iowa is coming off a 31-2 season with its second NCAA sweet-16 appearance in the last three years. They’re ranked 14th in the pre-season ratings — the highest ranking ever for the Panthers. Second year coach Bobbi Peterson, admits on this appears to be a talented team. Peterson says one of the questions is who will take on the role of team leader. Northern Iowa will play a tough non-conference schedule against several prominent opponents. They open the season at the State Farm Classic in Minneapolis against top-ranked and defending NCAA champion Stanford. Coach Peterson is looking forward to the season opener. Jill Arganbright, a junior setter from Iowa City, feels that the high ranking for the Panthers is an extra motivator. And Arganbright is excited about playing Stanford, the defending NCAA champions to open the season. Kim Kester, a senior from Urbana, is also excited by the high ranking for the Panthers as it gives the team a chance to prove themselves. Kester’s hoping this year’s Panthers team can go farther than any previous UNI team. Both Arganbright and Kester have been named to the Missouri Valley pre-season all-conference team. The Panthers first match is August 23rd.