AVCA Preseason Poll Ranks Huskies Fourth

Aug. 18, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) unveiled its preseason poll this afternoon, and the national body saw fit to rank Washington fourth overall, knowing the firepower UW brings back from an NCAA quarterfinal appearance last year.

The Huskies finished the 2008 season ranked fifth by the AVCA with a 27-5 record and graduated only middle blocker Jessica Swarbrick. The Huskies feature three returning All-Americans in senior libero Tamari Miyashiro, junior setter Jenna Hagglund, and junior outside hitter Becky Perry.

Two-time defending NCAA Champion Penn State maintained the top spot in the rankings, receiving 52 first-place votes. Texas earned six first-place votes and sits in the second spot, while Nebraska comes in third despite not receiving a first-place vote. The Huskies meanwhile picked up a pair of No. 1 votes but stand behind the Cornhuskers.

One note linking three of the preseason top-four teams is that only Washington, Nebraska, and Penn State have been ranked in the Top-10 of every AVCA weekly poll over the past five years. All three programs have not been outside the Top-10 since December of 2003.

Washington was also ranked fourth nationally earlier this month by Volleyball Magazine, in addition to being tabbed the preseason favorite in the Pac-10 Conference by a vote of the head coaches. The Huskies are the highest-ranked Pac-10 team again in the AVCA poll, one spot ahead of fifth-ranked Stanford.

Six Pac-10 teams are in the Top-25 and one more received votes. Following UW and Stanford is California at No. 6, UCLA at No. 9, USC at No. 12, and Oregon at No. 14, therefore nearly half of the fourteen highest-ranked teams hail from the Pac-10. Arizona also received votes outside the Top-25.

The Huskies will host an open practice and intrasquad scrimmage this Friday night at 6 p.m. on the main floor of the Bank of America Arena, and then a week later will open up the 2009 campaign with a 7 p.m. match against San Jose State at home on Aug. 28.

AVCA Division I Top-25 Poll - Preseason (First-Place Votes)
1. Penn State (52)
2. Texas (6)
3. Nebraska
4. Washington (2)
5. Stanford
6. California
7. Hawai'i
8. Florida
10. Illinois
11. Minnesota
12. USC
13. Iowa State
14. Oregon
15. San Diego
16. Michigan
17. Utah
18. Wichita State
19. Purdue
20. Saint Louis
21. Kentucky
22. Kansas State
23. Long Beach State
24. Colorado State
25. Santa Clara

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