The Barton Community College volleyball team is ranked No. 16 in the recently released NJCAA Division I preseason poll.
Last season, the Lady Cougars won the Region VI Championship and made their 20th appearance in the NJCAA National Tournament.
Barton is joined in the poll by three other Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference teams.
Seward County Community College is the only other ranked team, coming in at No. 18, while Colby and Hutchinson are receiving votes.
Barton will play another tough schedule to prepare for a run of back-to-back national appearances. In addition to the rugged conference schedule, the Lady Cougars will play six other nationally ranked teams including the 2010 NJCAA Division I Champions Western Nebraska Community College.
Barton will match up against No. 1 Western Nebraska on Sept. 23 in the Wyo-Braska Classic in Scottsbluff, Neb.
The Lady Cougars will get an early season progress report as Barton travels to Twin Falls, Idaho, on Sept. 16-17 to take on five ranked opponents in round robin format.
The Lady Cougars will face No. 2 Miami Dade College, No. 5 College of Southern Idaho, No. 7 Salt Lake Community College, No. 17 North Idaho College and No. 20 Yavapai College.
Barton opens the 2011 season Aug. 26-27 at Kirkman Activity Center in the Barton Invitational.
On Friday, Aug. 26, Barton will play Hesston College at noon and Cisco College at 6 p.m.
On Saturday, Aug. 27, Barton will play at 11 a.m. against Clarendon College followed by a 5 p.m. game against Butler Community College.