Stanford Chosen by Coaches to Defend Pac-10 Volleyball Crown

Aug. 5, 2008

WALNUT CREEK, Calif. -- Stanford has been chosen by the league's coaches to win the Pacific-10 Conference volleyball title for the third consecutive season. Washington State was predicted to finish last in the conference for 2008.

The Cardinal won their 11th Pac-10 title and reached the NCAA national championship match for the second straight year in 2007. Its returns three All-Americans including Pac-10 Player of the Year and AVCA National Player of the Year Foluke Akinradewo. Stanford received 90 points, 15 more than second-place UCLA, including nine of the 10 first-place votes.

UCLA claimed the final first-place vote and earned 75 points overall for second-place in predicted team standings. USC and California, who both reached the NCAA Final Four last year, garnered 68 and 62 points for third and fourth place, respectively. Washington, which returns two All-Americans, placed fifth with 59 points, followed by Oregon, which collected 51 points. Rounding out the poll were Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon State and Washington State, respectively.

The 2007 Final Four marked the third time in four seasons that the Pac-10 made up three-fourths of the national championship field. The conference has taken home five of the last seven NCAA titles.

All 10 teams open the 2008 season Friday, Aug. 29, in tournament play. The Cougars open the season in the first contests for new Head Coach Andrew Palileo at the Boise State Bronco Invite, taking on Cal State Northridge, Seattle University and host Boise State.

The coaches have correctly picked the Pac-10 champion in 12 of the previous 19 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, first place votes in parentheses):

 1. Stanford (9) 90
2. UCLA (1) 75
3. USC 68
4. California 62
5. Washington 59
6. Oregon 51
7. Arizona 39
8. Arizona State 32
9. Oregon State 31
10. Washington State 18
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