Volleyball Picked Seventh in Preseason Pac-10 Poll

Aug. 10, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- The Arizona State Sun Devils were picked seventh in a vote of the league's coaches in the 2004 Pac-10 Preseason Volleyball poll released today from the conference office in Walnut Creek, Calif.

All six teams ranked ahead of the Sun Devils in the Pac-10 poll have also earned top 20 rankings in the preseason AVCA/CSTV Top 25 preseason poll. The University of Southern California, coming off its second consecutive NCAA Volleyball championship in 2003, was picked to win a third straight Pac-10 title. The Women of Troy, who have won 47 consecutive matches dating back to the 2002 season, received 89 points, 11 more than second-place UCLA.

The Sun Devils enter the 2004 season with eight newcomers on the roster and look to improve upon a 9-18 season in 2003. Second-year head coach Brad Saindon landed the No. 12 recruiting class in the nation (prepvolleyball.com) and is excited to see his team take the floor when fall practices start tomorrow morning.

'I am excited to see this group together out on the floor,' said Saindon. 'We definitely want to improve upon our finish from last year and put together the foundation that will put ASU back on the volleyball map.'

ASU lost five starters from last year and will begin the season without standout outside hitter Natalie Harris (Tempe, Ariz.). Harris, who finished fifth in the Pac-10 with 3.95 kills per game last season, is recovering from off-season knee surgery and is projected to be back in action by October.

'We are going to be young this year with eight new players on the roster, but I think we are up for the challenge,' added Saindon. 'The Pac-10 is the toughest volleyball conference in the nation and it is going to be a tough task each weekend once we get into league play. We are excited for the challenge.'

Arizona State opens the 2004 campaign against Florida International, Toledo and New Hampshire in the New Hampshire Volleyball Classic (Sept. 3-4).

The coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 champion in nine of the previous 15 polls. Following is the 2004 Pac-10 Volleyball Preseason Poll:

1.  USC (8)           892.  UCLA (2)          783.  Washington        714.  Stanford          695.  California        586.  Arizona           557.  Arizona State     388.  Oregon State      369.  Oregon            23    Washington State  23

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