Washington selected as 2021 Pac-12 women's volleyball favorite in preseason coaches poll
SAN FRANCISCO – Defending Pac-12 champion WASHINGTON has been voted by the Conference’s women’s volleyball head coaches as the league’s preseason favorite for the upcoming 2021 campaign.
The Huskies, which won their first Pac-12 title since 2016 last season and sixth overall, collected 11 first-place votes and totaled 121 points to top the annual coaches poll. UCLA was second with 101 points, and followed closely by OREGON (100 points) and STANFORD (95 points). The Cardinal picked up the remaining first-place vote.
It’s the fourth time that WASHINGTON has led the Conference’s preseason rankings. The Huskies were previously voted to the top spot in 2017, 2009 and 2005. The preseason favorite has gone on to win the league title 20 times in the 35 years of Pac-12 women’s volleyball, including UW in 2005, which also capped that campaign with one of the Conference’s 17 national championships.
WASHINGTON STATE collected 77 points and USC 74 to round out the top half of the rankings. UTAH was seventh (74 points), ARIZONA eighth (44 points), COLORADO ninth (39 points), CALIFORNIA 10th (33 points), ARIZONA STATE 11th (30 points) and OREGON STATE 12th (12 points).
Half of the league is also nationally ranked and appears in the first American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Coaches Top 25 for the upcoming season, which was unveiled Monday. WASHINGTON checks in at No. 4 and is followed by No. 14 OREGON, No. 17 UCLA, No. 18 WASHINGTON STATE, No. 19 UTAH and No. 21 STANFORD among Pac-12 schools in the initial rankings. USC and ARIZONA are receiving votes.
In addition to the annual coaches poll, the Pac-12 revealed the results of the Preseason All-Conference Team, which was also voted on by the league’s coaches.
Returning first-team AVCA All-Americans Dani Drews (UTAH), Samantha Drechsel (WASHINGTON) and Ella May Powell (WASHINGTON) headline the 14-player list. All-conference selections last season, Drews was also voted the Pac-12 Player of the Year and Powell the Conference’s Setter of the Year.
Three AVCA All-America second teamers from a season ago are also on the preseason all-conference team for 2021 in WASHINGTON’s Claire Hoffman, UCLA’s Mac May and OREGON’s Brooke Nuneviller. Also on the list is the Bruins’ Zoe Fleck, the 2020 Pac-12 Libero of the Year.
UCLA, WASHINGTON and WASHINGTON STATE each have three players on the team, tied for the most in the league.
The regular season begins on Friday, Aug. 27, with all 12 Conference teams in action. The league's teams will be featured 110 times this season across Pac-12 Networks and the new, free streaming channel, Pac-12 Insider.
On opening night, both of OREGON’s matches against Portland State and Santa Clara Pepperdine at USC and Fresno State at OREGON matches can be seen on Pac-12 Insider. Pac-12 Insider is available on Pac-12.com and the Pac-12 Now app, as well as eight partner platforms, including Local Now, Redbox, Samsung TV Plus, Sling, Sportstribal, The Roku Channel, Vizio and Xumo.
2021 PAC-12 WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON COACHES POLL
|Rank||School (First Place Votes)||Total Points|
2021 PRESEASON ALL-PAC-12 WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL TEAM (ALPHABETICAL)
|Brooke Botkin, USC||OH||6-2||Houston, Texas|
|Samantha Drechsel, Washington||OH||6-4||Woodinville, Wash.|
|Dani Drews, Utah||OH||6-0||Sandy, Utah|
|Zoe Fleck, UCLA||DS/L||5-6||Granada Hills, Calif.|
|Claire Hoffman, Washington||OH||6-2||Pleasant Hill, Ore.|
|Magda Jehlarova, Washington State||MB||6-3||Prerov, Czech Republic|
|Kendall Kipp, Stanford||OH||6-5||Newport Beach, Calif.|
|Mac May, UCLA||OH/OPP||6-3||Dubuque, Iowa|
|élan McCall, UCLA||OH/OPP||6-0||Leander, Texas|
|Mima Mirkovic, California||OH||5-11||Irvine, Calif.|
|Brooke Nuneviller, Oregon||OH/L||5-11||Chandler, Ariz.|
|Ella May Powell, Washington||S||6-0||Fayetteville, Ark.|
|Hannah Pukis, Washington State||S||5-11||Tacoma, Wash.|
|Pia Timmer, Washington State||OH||6-2||Emlichheim, Germany|