Stanford Ranked Fifth In AVCA Preseason Poll

Aug. 18, 2009

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STANFORD, Calif. -- The Stanford women's volleyball team will begin the 2009 campaign ranked No. 5 nationally, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced in its annual preseason poll today.

The Cardinal, which has won three consecutive Pac-10 championships, returns four starters from last year's team that went 31-4 and advanced to a third straight national title match. The ranking marks the seventh time in the last eight years that Stanford has appeared in the top five in the preseason poll.

The Cardinal returns nine letterwinners, three starters and the libero from the 2008 team that advanced to the NCAA title match, including junior All-American outside hitter Alix Klineman and honorable mention All-Pac-10 honoree junior setter/outside hitter Cassidy Lichtman.

Back-to-back national champion Penn State earned the top spot in the poll, followed by Final Four participants Texas and Nebraska. Pac-10 foes Washington and California sandwiched the Cardinal at No. 4 and No. 6, respectively. Overall six Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top-15, including No. 9 UCLA, No. 12 USC and No. 14 Oregon. The Cardinal is scheduled to play 12 regular-season matches against top-25 teams, featuring non-conference matches at No. 7 Hawai'i and versus No. 8 Florida.

Stanford will hold intrasquad scrimmages on Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. and Aug. 25 at 4 p.m. Following the scrimmages on Aug. 25, Stanford will host its annual kick-off festivities. The 4 p.m. scrimmage will be followed by a 6 p.m. chalk talk with head coach John Dunning. The booster barbecue begins immediately after the chalk talk at Jimmy V's Sports Café. The scrimmage, chalk talk and barbecue are all open to the public. Admission to the scrimmage and chalk talk is free.

Stanford kicks off the 2009 season at the Notre Dame Invitational in South Bend, Ind., on Aug. 28. The Cardinal will face Louisiana State in the season opener at 5 p.m. (ET), before taking on host Notre Dame on Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. (ET). Stanford will conclude the three-day tournament against Denver at 11 a.m. (ET) on Aug. 30. Season tickets for the Cardinal's 11 home matches are on sale now at gostanford.com or by calling 1-800-STANFORD.

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