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.

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