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EOU No. 1, SOU No. 3 in CCC coaches' poll

Volleyball coaches around the Cascade Conference aren't expecting much movement in the standings in 2016, according to the preseason poll released Thursday. Either that or they're rightfully waiting on someone to prove that it's possible.

Eastern Oregon, College of Idaho and Southern Oregon — the three teams that have accounted for each of the last 13 CCC regular-season titles — were picked to finish first, second and third again. None of the other teams in the circuit have done better than fourth place since Oregon Tech claimed third in 2008.

EOU, which won last year's title outright and shared it with SOU in 2014, picked up nine of 11 first-place votes, with the others going to SOU and Northwest. The Mountaineers have five starters back, three of which were all-conference selections, and will add a pair of key transfers to the lineup: Madisen Garlie, a 6-foot-3 middle who was a standout at Oregon Tech in 2014, and Makayla Lindburg, a 6-1 middle/outside who played the past three seasons at University of Portland.

The only difference between the order of the poll and last year's standings is College of Idaho slotting in ahead of SOU, albeit by one vote. C of I has won four straight CCC tournament titles and returns five starters, but lost three-time All-American setter Sierra Porter and 2015 CCC player of the year Kylie Porter.

The Raiders have some holes to fill in their own right — only three players on the roster have more than one year of (non-redshirt) playing experience — but third-team All-American setter Lauren McGowne and honorable mention All-American middle Emma Gasman are among six returning regulars in the rotation. They went 26-6 overall last season, good for the team's most wins since 2005, and 17-3 in the CCC. They finished 13th in the NAIA rankings following a second straight appearance in the national tournament.

Northwest (Wash.), picked to finish fourth, figures to have the best shot at a breaking through with seven starters back from a team that went 14-6 in conference play. It was the first time the Eagles finished over the .500 mark since 2011.

The NAIA preseason poll will be released on Tuesday. The Raiders open their season Aug. 18 at the Biola Summer Slam in La Mirada, Calif., where they'll play four matches in two days.