Six Teams Ranked in Top 15 in Volleyball Magazine Preseason Poll
Aug. 7, 2009
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- The 2009 Women's Volleyball Magazine Preseason Poll was released recently and six Pac-10 teams were ranked in the top 15. WASHINGTON was rated fourth, while STANFORD and CALIFORNIA were right behind the Huskies at fifth and sixth, respectively. UCLA rounded out the top 10 at No. 10, while USC was ranked 12th. OREGON was slated at No. 14.
Over the past eight seasons, Pac-10 volleyball has dominated the collegiate scene. Last season, the Conference had a league-record six teams ranked in the top 11 in the preseason poll. Stanford has made it to the national championship game three years in a row.
The Huskies will be loaded this season as they return six starters, including second-team All-American and All-Pac-10 senior libero Tamari Miyashiro and third-team All-American junior setter Jenna Hagglund to a team that won 27 matches last year.
The Cardinal, who finds itself in familiar territory, rounded out the top five. Stanford has nine letterwinners returning, including first-team All-American and All-Pac-10 junior outside hitter Alix Klineman.
The Golden Bears return plenty of firepower to a team that posted the best record in California history, finishing 26-7 in 2008. Two-time All-American outside hitter Hana Cutura and junior setter Carli Lloyd will lead a veteran group that will not only challenge for a conference title, but a national title as well.
The Bruins will have to rely on 15 underclassmen this season. Amanda Gil, last season's Volleyball Magazine's Pacific Region and Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, will look to guide this young team to their 11th straight 20-win seasons.
The Women of Troy lead the Conference with 13 players returning. Leading the way will be senior libero Alex Jupiter and sophomore outside hitter Alli Hillgren. With only three seniors on the roster, USC will lean on underclassmen and a talented freshman class.
The Ducks also return experience and talent. Senior outside hitter Sonja Newcombe and senior middle blocker Neticia Enesi will be looked upon to lead this squad as Oregon welcomes seven newcomers to ease the graduation of All-American outside hitter Gorana Maricic.
All 10 teams will kick-off the 2009 season on Friday, August 28. Washington hosts the UW/SU Tournament in Seattle, Wash., and will face San Jose State at 7:00 p.m. PT. Stanford travels to the state of Indiana to take on LSU at 5:00 p.m ET in the Notre Dame Invitational. California will play UC Irvine at 4:30 p.m. PT at the Nevada Marriott Courtyard/Fairfield Invitational in Reno, Nev. UCLA travels across the Pacific to Honolulu, Hawaii, where it will take on Santa Clara at 8:00 p.m. PT in the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational. USC travels to East Lansing, Mich., to battle Michigan State at 6:30 p.m. ET in the Michigan State Showcase. Oregon hosts the Oregon Classic in Eugene, Ore., and will face San Francisco at 7:00 p.m. ET. ARIZONA travels to Louisville for a 7:00 p.m. ET game in the Louisville Tournament. ARIZONA STATE faces Utah at 5:00 p.m. MT in the Utah Classic in Salt Lake City, Utah. OREGON STATE squares off against Cal Poly at 3:30 p.m. PT in the ASICS Classic in Fort Collins, Colo. WASHINGTON STATE hosts the Nike Cougar Invitational and takes on UC Davis at 7:00 p.m. PT.