Volleyball Voted Preseason Pac-12 Favorite in Preseason Coaches Poll
SALT LAKE CITY – The Pac-12 Conference announced their preseason coaches poll and with nine first place votes, Utah volleyball has been picked to win the league this season.
Utah totaled 119 points for their highest preseason polling since joining the Conference in 2011 (previous high was fourth in 2017).
The Utes are coming off a season in 2019 where they finished 24-10 overall and 14-6 in the Pac-12 sitting in a tie for third. They advanced to the Sweet 16 where they pushed eventual National Champion Stanford to a fifth set before the Cardinal prevailed.
In addition to being picked first in the preseason poll, Dani Drews and Kenzie Koerber were picked for the Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference Team.
After being named a Second Team All-American after the 2018 season, Drews raised the bar in 2019 becoming the second player in program history to be named an AVCA First Team All-American. She had a historic season setting a new single-season record in kills with 643 and was named the Pacific South Region Player of the Year. In Pac-12 play, Drews was third overall averaging 4.76 kills per set. She has had 15 matches with over 20 kills and two matches with over 30. Against USC, she set a rally-scoring program record with 33 kills while also hitting .348 in the match. Drews also led the team in aces with 34. Never coming off the floor, Drews had 278 digs and 72.0 blocks. She was also named to the All-Pac-12 Team.
Koerber earned Second Team All-American honors in 2019 after being a force on the right side all season. She was the only Pac-12 student-athlete to earn Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week and Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week honors. Koerber started the season strong by being named the Utah Volleyball Classic MVP after helping Utah go 3-0 in the opening weekend beating two ranked teams in Kentucky and Cal Poly. Along with her strong offensive numbers, Koerber was great on defense as well finishing third on the team with 109 blocks and second on the team with 323 digs. She was named All-American honorable mention in 2018.
The Pac-12 announced the schedule for the 2020 campaign being played in the winter and spring of 2021 yesterday and Utah will start out at home in the Huntsman Center against Arizona on Friday, January 22 at 6 p.m. The rest of the schedule can be viewed HERE.
The Pac-12 Conference recently updated its policy on spectator attendance at Pac-12 sport competitions to extend beyond the original date of Jan. 1, and until further notice. For more information and statement from the Pac-12, please read the Utah Athletics release posted on January 11.