Volleyball Season Opens

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Aug. 21, 2006

The defending Pac-10 and NCAA champion WASHINGTON Huskies will open the 2006 volleyball season against No. 15 Ohio in the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase in Madison, Wis., on Friday, Aug. 25. The tournament field also includes No. 8 Texas and No. 9 Wisconsin... The Huskies begins the season as the highest-ranked Pac-10 team in the USA Today/CSTV Top 25 Preseason Poll. Six Pac-10 teams are among the top 25 - No. 3 Washington, No. 4 Stanford, No. 10 UCLA, No. 14 USC, No. 17 CALIFORNIA and No. 18 ARIZONA... Here's this week's schedule:

Fri., Aug. 25Siena at ARIZONA, 10:00 a.m. (1)Northern Colorado at ARIZONA, 7 p.m. (1)Northeastern University at ARIZONA STATE, 7 p.m. (2)Montana at CALIFORNIA, 7 p.m. (3)UC Irvine at OREGON, 7 p.m. (4)OREGON STATE vs. Oral Roberts, 4:30 p.m. (5)USC vs. North Texas, 2:30 p.m. (7)USC vs. Texas - Pan American, 7 p.m. (7)WASHINGTON vs. Ohio, 5 p.m. (8)WASHINGTON STATE vs. Gonzaga, 10 a.m. (9)WASHINGTON STATE vs. North Dakota St., 5:30 p.m. (9)

Sat., Aug. 26San Francisco at ARIZONA, 7 p.m. (1)Utah Valley State at ARIZONA STATE, 12 noon (2)Loyola Marymount at ARIZONA STATE, 7 p.m. (2)UC Davis at CALIFORNIA, 12 noon (3)Baylor at CALIFORNIA, 7 p.m. (3)OREGON STATE vs. Cal Poly, 10 a.m. (5)OREGON STATE at UNLV, 4:30 p.m. (5)STANFORD vs. UC Santa Barbara, 7 p.m.UCLA vs. Tennessee Tech, 10 a.m. (6)UCLA vs. Western Michigan, 7:30 p.m. (6)USC at Texas State, 1 p.m. (7)WASHINGTON vs. Texas or Wisconsin, 5 p.m. or 7 p.m. (8)WASHINGTON STATE vs. Weber State, 11:30 a.m. (9)WASHINGTON STATE at South Dakota State, 7 p.m. (9)

Sun., Aug. 27Portland State at OREGON, 7 p.m. (4)UCLA at Cincinnati, 1 p.m. (6)

Tournaments and Neutral Sites(1) Arizona Invitational - Tucson, Ariz.(2) Arizona State Tournament - Tempe, Ariz.(3) California Molten Classic Tournament - Berkeley, Calif.(4) Oregon Kickoff Classic - Eugene, Ore.(5) UNLV Tournament - Las Vegas, Nev.(6) Cincinnati Tournament - Cincinnati, Ohio(7) Century Tel/Classic Honda Tournament - San Marcos, Texas(8) AVCA College Volleyball Showcase - Madison, Wis.(9) South Dakota State Jackrabbit Kickoff Tournament - Brookings, S.D.

THE COACHES PRESEASON POLL

The STANFORD Cardinal were picked to win their tenth Pac-10 title, according to a poll of the Pac-10 women's volleyball coaches. Here's a look at how the coaches see the 2006 Pac-10 race (first place votes in parentheses):

        1.	Stanford (8)	    89	2.	UCLA (2)	    79	3.	Washington	    76	4.	California	    64	5.	USC	            62	6.	Arizona	            48	7.	Oregon State	    41	8.	Oregon	            32	9.	Arizona State 	    30	10.	Washington State    19

CONFERENCE OF CHAMPIONS

With WASHINGTON winning the 2005 NCAA title, the Pac-10 has now captured five consecutive NCAA crowns (2005 - Washington, 2004 - Stanford, 2003 - USC, 2002 - USC, 2001 - Stanford) and 13 NCAA titles overall - that's better than half of the 25 titles presented by the NCAA.

AROUND THE LEAGUE

ARIZONA welcomes back junior setter Amy Dyck who not only ranks tenth on Arizona's career assists list with 1,373, but ranks seventh for active leaders in the Conference...senior MB/OPP Kristina Baum ranks fifth in the Conference among active leaders with 208 blocks.

ARIZONA STATE ranked second in the league in digs last season thanks to libero Sydney Donahue who led last years squad with a school record 628 digs. With two years left to play, the junior is just 594 digs shy of breaking the school record.

CALIFORNIA made school history last season making its fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament and with 10 returners including Samantha Carter, Jillian Davis, and Angie Pressey, the Golden Bears will be looking for their fifth trip to the postseason.

OREGON may only be returning six players, the fewest among all Pac-10 teams. However, the Ducks return senior Kristin Bitter, who led the squad in blocks (0.90 bpg), and Heather Madison, who currently ranks fifth among active leaders in the Conference with 1,995 assists.

OREGON STATE's Taras 'Terry' Liskevych boasts a 276-98 (.738) record in 10 seasons as a coach. Last year was his first season with the Beavers, finishing the season 7-11 in conference play, which matched the school's third-best league win total in school history.

With five returning players, three of which garnered AVCA All-America team selections, it is no wonder STANFORD is ranked No. 4 in the CSTV/AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll. The three All-Americans include senior outside hitter Kristin Richards (1st team), sophomore middle blocker Foulke Akinradewo (2nd team), and junior setter Bryn Kehoe (3rd team).

UCLA returns 16 players from last year's roster, the most among all Pac-10 teams, earning them the No. 10 slot on the CSTV/AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll...leading the way for the Bruins is senior middle blocker Nana Meriwether, whose 1.73 blocks per game not only led the Conference in 2005, but earned her both All-America and All-Conference honors.

USC may arguably have the toughest nonconference schedule in the Conference as they will face four non-league teams who finished the 2005 season ranked among the Top-25 by the CSTV/AVCA Coaches Poll.

Washington's Jim McLaughlin became the first coach in NCAA history to capture Division I titles with both the men (USC, 1990) and women...The Huskies return All-America setter Courtney Thompson, who led the nation in assists with 1,608 (14.89 apg) and holds the top three spots on Washington's single-season list and holds the school record with 4,841 career assists.

Outside hitter Kelly Rosin enters her senior season at WASHINGTON STATE with 224 career blocks, sitting 35 blocks shy of breaking into Washington States's career leaders list...the Cougars will look to the senior leadership of Rosin and April Lott, who will share the captain position for the 2006 season.

WHERE ARE THEY FROM?

The rosters of the Pac-10 volleyball teams include student-athletes from 21 different states and seven countries outside the United States. California leads all states with 58 student-athletes, Oregon comes in second with 17. Here's the breakdown:

States - Arizona (12), California (58), Colorado (3), Florida (4), Georgia (1), Hawai'i (5), Idaho (2), Illinois (5), Indiana (2), Kentucky (1), Kansas (2), Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Missouri (1), Nevada (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Oregon (17), Texas (4), Washington (14), Utah (3).

Countries - Australia (1), Canada (4), Croatia (1), England (1), Poland (2), Puerto Rico (1), Serbia (3).

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