WALNUT CREEK, Calif. – Two days away from its first home action of 2012, the University of Oregon volleyball team again confirmed its place as one of the teams to watch in the 'Conference of Champions'.
In the annual poll taken of league head coaches, Oregon was picked to place fourth in the nation's top volleyball league - and tied its best-ever ranking that it also received more than 20 years ago in both 1988 and '91.
UCLA led the 12-team poll released Thursday with 120 points and received 10 of the 12 first-place votes.
Stanford followed in second place and picked up the other two first-place votes, and was trailed by returning Pac-12 champion USC (third), Oregon (fourth), Washington (fifth), California (sixth) and Arizona (seventh).
The remaining teams in the conference and their rankings follow: Arizona State (eighth), Oregon State (ninth), Utah (10th), Washington State (11th) and Colorado (12th).
The Pac-12 is again expected to be the nation's top volleyball conference and returns seven NCAA Tournament qualifiers, including last year's national champion (UCLA) and another semifinal advancer (USC).
Altogether, four league teams have combined for 14 of the 30 national championships ever held - Stanford (6 - 1992, '94, '96, '97, 2001, '04), UCLA (4 - 1984, '90, '91, 2011), USC (3 - 1981, '2002, '03) and Washington (1 - 2005), and the Pac-12 has also claimed 13 runner-up nods.
This season’s fourth-place preseason league ranking follows fourth straight sixth-place picks from 2008-11. Other prior preseason rankings in the unmatched run of eighth-year head coach Jim Moore included seventh in ‘07, eighth in ’06 and ninth in ’05.
For comparison’s sake in year-end league standings in that stretch, UO has placed sixth or better in five of the last six years (fourth-'08; fifth-'07; sixth-'06, '09, '11) and was seventh the other season in that span (2010).
Looking ahead to this Saturday, August 11, the Ducks will first showcase this year's 15-person squad for the first time in the Green and Yellow Exhibition. Admission is free (as well as parking in the Columbia Street Parking Garage this weekend), and the event starts at 7 p.m. at Matthew Knight Arena.
Next week, UO returns to Matthew Knight for another free exhibition on Saturday, August 18 at 7 p.m. against many of its greatest alumni.
Later in August, the Ducks kick off the regular season with two, three-match tournaments in Ohio at Columbus (August 24-26) and in Athens (August 31-September 2).
The Ducks then open their home slate vs. UC Santa Barbara, Wednesday, September 5 at 7 p.m.
This week, Oregon volleyball fans can still renew their season tickets through Friday, August 10. Next week, new season ticket packages and single match tickets will go on sale beginning Friday, August 17 at 9 a.m.
Fans are encouraged to use the www.GoDucks.com website for all purchases, and can also visit the Duck ticket office or call (1-800-WEB-FOOT) during normal weekday business hours.
Prices for the season and single-game tickets are similar to last year and follow:
SEASON // SINGLE MATCH
Reserved - $100 // $10
Adult GA – $60 // $6
*Child & Senior GA – $26 // $5
Group (10 or more and arranged in advance) – Single Game = $3
* = children ages 2-17, and seniors 62 and older.
Families can also save money on season tickets by purchasing a general admission family plan. The package is available for $50 per adult ticket and $25 per child ticket (and two tickets or more of each age category must be purchased for this rate).
2012 Pac-12 Volleyball Coaches Poll
Place Team (1st Place Votes) Overall Points
1. UCLA (10) 120
2. Stanford (2) 109
3. USC 96
4. Oregon 91
5. Washington 83
6. California 77
7. Arizona 56
8. Arizona State 43
9. Oregon State 41
10. Utah 39
11. Washington State 22
12. Colorado 15
All-Time Oregon Pac-12 Volleyball Coaches Preseason Poll Rankings
* 1986-2010 = 10 teams in Pac-10
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