USC Tops USA Today/AVCA Preseason Volleyball Poll
Aug. 11, 2003
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The USC women's volleyball team, the reigning NCAA Division I national champion, pulled in 64 of a possible 65 first-place votes to out-distance second-place Hawai'i by 106 points and earn the top ranking in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll released on Aug. 11.
The four national semifinalist teams from 2002 hold the top four spots in the preseason poll. Florida is ranked third with 1,476 points, followed by 2002 runnerup Stanford with 1,447.
USC returns six starters and 10 letterwinners, including AVCA All-America First Team selections April Ross (Sr., OH) and Emily Adams (Jr., MB). Meanwhile, Hawai'i has six starters back with two AVCA All-America First-Team picks and a Third-Team selection in Kim Willoughby (Sr., OH), Lily Kahumoku (Sr., OH) and Lauren Duggins (Sr., MB), respectively. Florida brings back five starters from its national semifinal team from 2002, including AVCA All-America First-Team pick Aury Cruz (Sr., OH) and AVCA All-America Third-Team selection Benavia Jenkins (Sr., MB). Stanford, which lost AVCA National Player of the Year Logan Tom to graduation, returns four starters including AVCA All-America First-Team pick Sara McGee (Sr., MB) and AVCA All-America Second-Team selection Ogonna Nnamani (Jr., OH).
Rounding out the top 10 are Pepperdine at number five, followed by Minnesota, Nebraska, Northern Iowa, UC Santa Barbara and Arizona. Three teams were selected into the top 25 preseason poll that did not make the final 2002 poll - Louisville, Texas and California.
The Pac-10 led the conference race in the USA Today/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll with six teams, while the Big 10 gained five teams and the Big 12 had four teams.
With another difficult schedule ahead of them in 2003, the Women of Troy will likely face 10 of the teams ranked among the preseason Top 25, including all of the top 5 teams. The Trojans open the season on Aug. 22-23 at the NACWAA Women's Volleyball Tournament in Honolulu, Hawai'i. The tournament will feature No. 2 Hawai'i', No. 4 Stanford and No. 15 Kansas State.
USA TODAY/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25
2002 Preseason Poll: Aug. 11, 2002
1. USC (64)
2. Hawai'i (1)
8. Northern Iowa
9. UC Santa Barbara
11. Penn State
12. Georgia Tech
14. Santa Clara
15. Kansas State
16. Long Beach State
18. Ohio State
19. Washington State
20. North Carolina
25. Michigan State