Cougar Volleyball Takes the Floor

Aug. 10, 2004

PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Brian Heffernan Era begins this week as the Cougar women's volleyball team begins preseason practice under the direction of its new head coach.Heffernan, the 10th volleyball head coach in Washington State University history, joined the Cougars after a successful four-year stint at the University of Minnesota as an associate head coach and an assistant coach. His staff includes assistant coaches Jody Garry and Kevin Wray.The 2004 Cougar volleyball team reports to campus today, Tues., Aug. 10, for physicals, meetings and testing. The team's first practice with the new coaching staff will take place Wed., Aug. 11.Four starters return from last year's 9-20 team, including Pac-10 All-Freshman first team selection at middle blocker, sophomore Jennifer Todd. Other returning starters include redshirt sophomore middle blocker Jen Barcus, sophomore outside hitter Kelly Rosin and senior Alison Billingsley.Of the 11 players back from the 2003 squad, eight are sophomores. Two freshmen, setter Nicole Martin (Carmel, Ind.) and middle blocker Kristin Kelley (Pasadena, Calif.) join redshirt freshman libero Carly Hayashikawa (Waikoloa, Hawaii) as the newcomers on the team.The USA TODAY/American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Preseason Poll, released Monday, shows eight of Washington State's 2004 opponents ranked in the top 18, including the Sept. 8 home opener of No. 11 Colorado State. Six Pac-10 Conference teams are ranked in the top 17 of this preseason poll, including two-time defending national champion Southern California, selected first.The remaining Pac-10 schools listed among the top 25 include UCLA third, Stanford sixth, Washington seventh, California 10th, and Arizona 17th.In addition to the Pac-10 schools and Colorado State listed on the preseason poll, Washington State will also meet No. 18 Loyola Marymount University Sept. 11, at the LMU Tournament at Los Angeles.WSU's women's volleyball team was predicted to finish tied for ninth in the 2004 conference standings by a preseason vote of the Pacific-10 Conference volleyball coaches, the conference office announced Tuesday. Southern California (89 points) was selected by the coaches to repeat as league champions while cross town rival UCLA (78) was selected to finish second in the Pac-10 this season.The rest of the preseason Pac-10 Poll shows an order of third place Washington (71) followed by Stanford (69), California (58), Arizona (55), Arizona State (38), Oregon State (36) with Oregon tied with WSU for ninth (23).The Pac-10 coaches, who are not allowed to vote for their own teams (points 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2), have correctly selected the conference champion in nine of the 15 previous polls.Cougar Athletics will host a Meet the Volleyball Team and Coaches Night, Wed., Aug. 18, in Bohler Gym beginning at 6:30 p.m. Head Coach Brian Heffernan and assistant coaches Jody Garry and Kevin Wray will join the 2004 Cougar volleyball team autographing the 2004 season posters and posing for photos with fans. In addition, the Cougar Athletics Ticket office will have representatives on hand for reserved seat season-ticket holders to pick up their tickets and for newcomers to buy tickets.

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