Pac-12 coaches vote Stanford 2013 preseason favorite
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - In a polling of the Conference’s 12 women’s volleyball coaches, STANFORD was voted the preseason favorite to win the 2013 Pac-12 regular season, the Conference office announced today. The defending Pac-12 Champion Cardinal received 120 points and 10 first-place votes.
In addition to the annual coaches poll, the Pac-12 announced the first-ever Preseason All-Pac-12 team, as voted on by the league coaches. 10 of the 14 all-conference honorees from a year ago appear on the 14-player preseason team, including five first- or second-team AVCA All-Americans.
The Cardinal claimed its league-record 15th Pac-12 regular-season crown last year despite four freshmen in the starting lineup. This year, Hall of Fame coach John Dunning welcomes back the entire starting lineup, as well as AVCA first-team All-American Carly Wopat.
Voted second in the poll was USC, who picked up 111 points and two first-place votes. The Trojans return armed with 2012 Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and Volleyball Magazine National Freshman of the Year Samantha Bricio, as well as two-time Pac-12 Libero of the Year and two-time All-American Natalie Hagglund.
Third in the polling is WASHINGTON with 96 points, followed by NCAA runner-up OREGON with 91 points. UCLA, who is just two years removed from winning the NCAA title, garnered 76 points to place fifth in the poll. ARIZONA STATE had its best finish in Pac-12 play since 2000 last year, ending the year tied for sixth. The league coaches predicted another sixth-place finish for the Sun Devils in 2013.
CALIFORNIA is just four years from its NCAA runner-up showing and was voted to finish seventh this season, collecting 59 points. ARIZONA was voted eighth with 52 points, while UTAH was voted ninth with 49 points. COLORADO was voted to finish 10th in the Pac-12 standings in 2013 (30), while WASHINGTON STATE was 11th in the polling (21) and OREGON STATE was 12th (19).
The preseason coaches poll has been administered every year since the first season of Pac-12 women’s volleyball in 1986. It has predicted the regular-season champion correctly 17 times in 27 years.
Pac-12 teams have traditionally been among the best in the nation. In 2012, six teams were ranked in the top 25 in the nation at some point during the season, with five spending most of the year in the top 10, including two teams earning No. 1 rankings for several weeks. In addition, seven teams earned NCAA Tournament bids in 2012, with the Ducks advancing to the national championship match for the first time in the history of the program.
The regular season is set to begin Friday, Aug. 30. This year, again, Pac-12 volleyball teams will have unprecedented television coverage with 90 matches being broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks and an additional three will be nationally televised on ESPNU. For the full regular-season schedule, including televised matches and listings, visit www.pac-12.com.
2013 PAC-12 VOLLEYBALL COACHES POLL
2013 PRESEASON ALL-PAC-12 WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL TEAM
|Inky Ajanaku, STAN||MB||6-3||So.||Tulsa, Okla.|
|Liz Brenner, ORE||OH||6-1||Jr.||Portland, Ore.|
|Samantha Bricio, USC||OH||6-2||So.||Guadalajara, Mexico|
|Jordan Burgess, STAN||OH||6-1||So.||Fort Meyers, Fla.|
|Macey Gardner, ASU||OH||6-0||So.||Gilbert, Ariz.|
|Adrienne Gehan, CAL||OH||6-3||Sr.||Dallas, Texas|
|Natalie Hagglund, USC||L||5-9||Sr.||Encinitas, Calif.|
|Brittany Howard, STAN||OH||6-3||So.||Los Altos, Calif.|
|Madi Kingdon, ARIZ||OH||6-1||Jr.||Phoenix, Ariz.|
|Kylin Munoz, WASH||OH||6-1||Sr.||Monroe, Wash.|
|Lauren Plum, ORE||S||5-9||Sr.||Poway, Calif.|
|Kelly Reeves, UCLA||OH||6-0||Sr.||San Diego, Calif.|
|Krista Vansant, WASH||OH||6-2||Jr.||Redlands, Calif.|
|Carly Wopat, STAN||MB||6-2||Sr.||Santa Barbara, Calif.|