Huskies Picked To Finish Third In Pac-10 Race

Aug. 9, 2006

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - The University of Washington volleyball team, the 2005 NCAA Champion and two-time defending Pacific-10 Conference champion, is predicted to finish third by the league's coaches in the 2006 conference race behind Stanford and UCLA.

Stanford, the 2005 Pac-10 runner-up, is predicted to win the championship, receiving 89 points, including eight first place votes. The Cardinal finished one match behind Washington last season with a 16-2 Pac-10 record.

UCLA, the only team to defeated Washington in 2005, is picked to finish second after receiving 79 points, including the two remaining first place votes.

Washington was right on the Bruins' heels with 76 points, followed by California in fourth with 64 points and USC in fifth with 62 points.

Arizona (48), Oregon State (41), Oregon (32), Arizona State (30) and Washington State (19) round out the poll.

'Every year the Pac-10 season is a big challenge and that's what is great about it,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'It doesn't matter where we are predicted to finish but where we actually do finish. We expect to do well and we are going to train to earn the right to play for another championship. What we do today is the most important thing and we worry about that day-to-day.'

The coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 champion in 10 of the previous 17 polls. Following are the results of the preseason coaches poll. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own teams (points 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, first place votes in parentheses):

1. Stanford (8) 892. UCLA (2) 793. Washington 764. California 645. USC 626. Arizona 487. Oregon State 418. Oregon 329. Arizona State 3010. Washington State 19

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