The UNI volleyball team is garnering plenty of national respect heading into the upcoming season. The Panthers are rated 8th in the coaches pre-season poll after posting a 34-3 mark a year ago and made their third appearance in the NCAA sweet-16 in four years. Returning All-American middle blocker Molly O’Brien is happy with the national recognition the program has received. Junior Michelle Burvee feels the Panthers deserve their lofty ranking. “I know that it’s going to be a great team,” Burvee says. “We’re going to click. Obviously, we’ve only had six or seven practices, but I can feel it.” UNI opens the season against top-ranked USC August 29th in Los Angeles.