Five Pac-12 teams ranked in AVCA preseason top 25

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -  Five Pac-12 Conference women’s volleyball teams were ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Preseason Coaches Poll, the AVCA released today. Three of the nation’s top-five teams hail from the Pac-12, with STANFORD ranking the highest at third, receiving 1,379 points and two first-place votes. 

USC and WASHINGTON followed the Cardinal at fourth and fifth, respectively. The Women of Troy garnered 1,307 points and the Huskies rounded out the top five with 1,167 points. NCAA runner-up OREGON was ranked eighth overall, receiving 1,020 points after finishing the 2012 season in second place behind No. 1 Texas. UCLA came in at 12th, posting 791 points. The five Pac-12 teams ranked in the preseason poll were ranked in the final top 15 of the 2012 season. All but one team received a higher ranking than their final standing last year. CALIFORNIA was one of 16 other teams receiving votes and appearing on two or more ballots. 

The Cardinal will see four first-team All-Pac-12 honorees return for this upcoming fall, including senior MB Carly Wopat, who led Stanford in blocking and was third in the Conference in blocks per set and garnered first team All-American accolades. Pac-12 Coach of the Year John Dunning returns all of his starters as he enters his 13th season with four national titles and 24-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. 

The Women of Troy garnered 1,307 points after finishing last season ranked sixth. USC finished 30-6 in 2012 on the heels of Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Samantha Bricio, who led the team in scoring, and two-time first team AVCA All-American and Pac-12 Libero of the Year Natalie Hagglund. UW welcomes back four of its top-five scorers after making its 11th-straight postseason appearance and advancing to the round of 16, finishing 25-7 with a No. 9 national ranking. Junior OH Krista Vansant, who was fifth in the Pac-12 in kills last season, earned second-team AVCA All-American honors last season. 

The Ducks are coming off the heels of the best season in school history, advancing to the national championship match for the first time in team history on a school-record 30-win season. The Bruins ended last season ranked 13th nationally on a 23-8 record, advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. 

All of the 12 Conference teams are set to open the 2013 campaign on Aug. 30-Sept. 1. For the second-straight year, Pac-12 volleyball teams will receive unprecedented coverage as 90 matches will be televised on the Pac-12 networks and three more on ESPNU. 

For more information on the AVCA Coaches Poll, visit www.avca.org. To view the 2013 Pac-12 volleyball television schedule, visit www.pac-12.com.

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