Stanford Picked Fourth In CSTV/AVCA Coaches Poll
Aug. 11, 2006
Lexington, Ky. - For the second consecutive season, the University of Nebraska finds itself positioned at the top of the CSTV/AVCA Division I Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll, the American Volleyball Coaches Association announced Tuesday. The Cornhuskers received 14 of the possible 60 first place votes, and a total of 1431 points.
Nebraska brings back three starters from their 2005 NCAA runner-up squad, highlighted by two-time AVCA First-Team All-American and reigning Big 12 Player of the Year Sarah Pavan. Pavan, a Junior RS/OPP, is joined by Jordan Larson, the 2005 Big 12 Freshman of the Year, and Maggie Griffin as the top returning players for the Huskers. The Nebraska Athletic Department announced Monday that the 2005 AVCA Division I Player of the Year, Christina Houghtelling, will redshirt during the 2006 season after summer shoulder surgery. The 2006 preseason poll marks the record 56th time the Huskers have sat atop an AVCA Division I poll.
Penn State, defending Big Ten Champion, takes the second spot preseason. The Nittany Lions return five starters from a 2005 team that went undefeated in Big Ten play and finished with a 31-3 overall record. Although they lost three-time AVCA All-American and Big Ten Player of the Year Sam Tortorello to graduation, their returning cast includes AVCA Second-Team All-Americans Nicole Fawcett and Melissa Walbridge, as well AVCA Honorable Mention All-American Christa Harmotto. Head Coach Russ Rose also welcomes 2005 Gatorade National High School Player of the Year Megan Hodge to the mix this year. Penn State received 17 first place votes and 1407 total points.
Defending 2005 National Champion Washington finds itself #3 to begin the 2006 season. The Huskies return three starters to the court to begin their 2006 title defense. Courtney Thompson and Christal Morrison, both twotime AVCA All-Americans, along with All-Pac-10 honoree Alesha Deesing, lead the Huskies toward trying to become the first back-to-back champion since Southern California achieved the feat during the 2002 and 2003 seasons. Washington garnered 16 first place votes and 1357 total points.
Stanford and Florida round out the top five. The Cardinal, after a 26-6 season in 2005, returns four starters, including three AVCA All-Americans in Foluke Akinradewo, Bryn Kehoe, and Kristin Richards. Stanford picked up 13 first place votes and 1287 total points. Their #4 ranking marks the record 306th time the Cardinal has been in the top ten of an AVCA poll.
Florida, coming off a 33-3 season, returns five starters, including two AVCA All-Americans. The Gators received a total of 1181 points.
Led by Washington and Stanford's positions in the top five, the Pac-10 secured three of the top ten spots on the poll, and six of the Top 25. The Big Ten was next with five spots on the poll, with Penn State and Wisconsin landing in the top ten. The Big 12 produced four and the West Coast Conference three teams out of 25, while the BIG EAST and the SEC are represented by two teams apiece. The WAC, MAC, and Mountain West are each represented by one team on the preseason poll.
The 2006 season kicks off Friday, August 25th and Saturday, August 26th with the AVCA College Volleyball Showcase in Madison, Wisconsin. Three of the top ten preseason teams, #3 Washington, #8 Texas and #9 Wisconsin, will be joined by #15 Ohio University at this year's event. In the opening matches on the 25th, Washington plays Ohio while Texas squares off with Wisconsin. The championship and consolation matches take place on August 26th.
Courtesy of the AVCA
CSTV/AVCA Division I Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll
Rank School (First-Place Votes) Total Points 2005 Record1 Nebraska (14) 1431 33-22 Penn State (17) 1407 31-33 Washington (16) 1357 32-14 Stanford (13) 1287 26-65 Florida 1181 33-36 Santa Clara 1115 27-57 Hawai'i 1067 27-78 Texas 1066 24-59 Wisconsin 896 26-710 UCLA 837 20-1111 Tennessee 779 25-912 Louisville 751 31-313 Missouri 732 25-514 Southern California 642 17-1115 Ohio 593 33-316 Purdue 545 25-917 California 528 19-1118 Arizona 491 25-619 Pepperdine 484 19-1220 San Diego 413 23-621 Notre Dame 411 30-422 Minnesota 393 25-823 Ohio State 346 22-924 Utah 202 23-925 Kansas State 162 21-11
Others Receiving Votes: Brigham Young 74; Long Beach State 64; Colorado 35; UC Santa Barbara 33; LSU 32; New Mexico State 25; Duke 22; Loyola Marymount 18; Northwestern 14; Texas A&M 11; Maryland 7; Marshall 6; Saint Mary's (CA) 6; Wichita State 6; Northern Iowa 5; San Francisco 5; Colorado State 4; Virginia 3; Albany 2; Sacramento State 2; Cincinnati 2; Dayton 2; Georgia Tech 2; Western Kentucky 2; College of Charleston 1; South Carolina 1.