Stanford, Washington Expected To Be Top Contenders In Pacific-10 Race

Aug. 10, 2005

Walnut Creek, Ca - Stanford and Washington were keen rivals in the Pac-10 women's volleyball race last year. Expect more of the same during the 2005 conference season.

Last year, the Huskies dominated the Cardinal in three games in Seattle, but Stanford chalked up a five-game win on the Cardinal's home turf later in the year.

The two teams met for a third time in the semifinals of the NCAA Final Four, and Stanford responded with a 3-1 win over Washington.

The Huskies return five starters and its libero from last year's 28-3 team (16-2 in the Pac-10) and are picked to repeat last season's first place conference performance by a vote of the league's coaches. Washington claimed eight of the ten first-place votes, with the Cardinal receiving the other two.

Washington tallied 88 total points compared to Stanford with 83. USC, the 2003 NCAA champion, is picked to finish third (68 points) followed by Arizona (67), UCLA (63), California (53), Arizona State (40), Oregon State (36), Oregon (26) and Washington State (18).

No doubt, the Pacific-10 Conference is well respected nationwide. Washington has been selected second in the 2005 CSTV/AVCA Preseason Top-25 poll, receiving 15 first place votes. Stanford earned the third spot with eight first place votes. No. 7 USC, No. 13 UCLA, No. 17 Arizona and No. 19 California were also named to the Top-25. The Pac-10's six teams among the Top-25 was the most for any conference for the second consecutive year, followed by the Big Ten with four teams.

The coaches have corrected picked the Pac-10 champion in nine of the previous 16 polls. Following are the results of the preseason coaches poll. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams (points 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2, first place votes in parentheses).

1. Washington (8), 88 points
2. Stanford (2), 83 points
3. USC, 68 points
4. Arizona, 67 points
5. UCLA, 63 points
6. California, 53 points
7. Arizona State, 40 points
8. Oregon State, 36 points
9. Oregon, 26 points
10. Washington State, 18 points

Cardinal Catalogue
Stanford opens its season and run toward toward another national title on August 26-27 at the AVCA/NACWAA College Showcase in Omaha, Ne ... Stanford will open play against fifth-ranked Penn State ... Top-ranked Nebraska and No. 4 Hawaii are also slated to compete ... The tournament will televised on CSTV.

Television Time
Three Stanford conference games will be televised on Fox Sports Net (FSN) ... They include matches against USC (Sept,. 23), at Washington (Nov. 3) and at UCLA (Nov. 25) ... All matches will be shown on a delayed basis by FSN on Saturday at 9:30 a.m. or 10:00 a.m. local time ... Please check your local listings.

Stanford Stuff
The Cardinal returns four starters (Franci Girard, Bryn Kehoe, Kristin Richards, and Lizzie Suiter), and its libero (Courtney Schultz) from last year's 30-6 team (15-3 in Pac-10) ... The five person freshmen class is outstanding which includes Foluke Akinradewo and Cynthia Barboza.

Quote from Stanford junior middle blocker Jennifer Wilson
'Competing in a championship volleyball program is something that you must cherish and always carry with pride. It makes you accountable for your actions and reminds you of how lucky you are to be at Stanford playing volleyball for the Cardinal. You must always work your hardest and your goals are always high. My education at Stanford has opened my eyes to so many new fields and ideas about the world.'

Did You Know ...
*** Stanford head coach John Dunning is one of two coaches to win the national title with two different schools (Pacific & Stanford) ... The other is USC's Mick Haley (Texas and USC).
*** John Dunning has coached 20 athletes who have gone on to win 36 All-American awards.
*** John Dunning is only one of two coaches to have captured national titles on three different levels ... Dunning led squads to national championships in high school, club (Junior Olympics), and collegiate ranks.

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