Volleyball Picked To Finish Fourth In Pac-10 Race

Aug. 3, 2007

WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- The Washington volleyball team has been predicted to finish fourth in the Pac-10 Conference in a poll by the league's coaches. The Huskies, who were national semifinalists last season and finished one match out of first place in the conference, return all but one starter for the 2007 season, including All-Americans Christal Morrison, Alesha Deesing and Jessica Swarbrick.

Stanford, the national runner-up and 2006 Pac-10 Champion, was picked to defend its league title, receiving eight of 10 first place votes for a total of 89 points. The Cardinal also return a trio of All-Americans for the 2007 season.

USC and UCLA, also a national semifinalist last season, each received one first-place vote, garnering 77 and 75 points, respectively. Washington came in fourth with 71 points, followed by California with 57 points and Arizona with 46 points.

Rounding out the poll were Oregon, Arizona State, Oregon State, and Washington State, respectively.

Washington returns all of its starters from last season with the exception of three-time All-American setter Courtney Thompson. The Huskies return the 2006 Pac-10 Player of the Year in senior outside hitter Christal Morrison, as well as senior outside hitter Stevie Mussie. Deesing and Swarbrick return to the middle and sophomore libero Tamari Miyashiro returns to anchor the UW defense.

Washington won the Pac-10 Championship in 2004 and 2005.

The coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 champion in 11 of the previous 18 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. Stanford (8) 892. USC (1) 773. UCLA (1) 754. Washington 715. California 576. Arizona 467. Oregon 428. Arizona State 339. Oregon State 2610. Washington State 24
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