Huskies Voted Pac-10 Favorites In Coaches Poll
Aug. 14, 2009
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The Husky volleyball team was tabbed as the preseason favorite in the Pacific-10 Conference today based on a vote of the conference coaches. Washington, which has finished either first or second in the Pac-10 in each of the past five years, received all of a possible nine first place votes.
The Huskies led the way with 90 points and nine of 10 first place votes. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. California was voted second with 80 points and the other first-place vote. Three-time defending conference champion Stanford was third with 74 points. The Cardinal were NCAA runners-up last year.
Washington lost just one starter, middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick, off a team that finished 27-5 overall, 15-3 in Pac-10 play, and reached the NCAA Regional Final. The Huskies feature three returning All-Americans in senior libero Tamari Miyashiro, junior setter Jenna Hagglund, and junior outside hitter Becky Perry.
Last season the Huskies were picked fifth in the preseason coaches' poll but vastly outperformed that estimate to finish second behind Stanford. The last time the Huskies were voted the Pac-10 preseason favorite was 2005, when UW went on to win its first NCAA Championship, losing just one match all year.
One national poll has been released thus far, with Washington ranked fourth by Volleyball Magazine, highest among all Pac-10 schools. Head coach Jim McLaughlin was pleased with the distinction but downplayed its significance.
'I've never put much stock into preseason rankings,' said McLaughlin. 'Where we start and where we finish are two different things. We are going to make progress, and we can control that. We can't control rankings, so until the end.'
UCLA picked up 62 points for fourth place just ahead of USC who nabbed 60 votes for fifth place. Oregon got 48 points for sixth, while Arizona garnered 42 points for seventh. Arizona State received 34 points for eighth barely edging out Oregon State which finished with 31 points. Washington State was 10th in the poll with 19 points
The 2009 Pac-10 women's volleyball season kicks off on Fri., Aug. 28, when all 10 teams will be in action.
Following are the results of the preseason coaches' poll. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams (9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, first place votes in parentheses).
2009 Pac-10 Women's Volleyball Preseason Poll1. Washington (9) 902. California (1) 803. Stanford 744. UCLA 625. USC 606. Oregon 487. Arizona 428. Arizona State 349. Oregon State 3110. Washington State 19