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Ducks’ Top 20 Run Continues in AVCA Preseason Poll
Courtesy: GoDucks.com
Release Date: 08/17/2010
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EUGENE – The University of Oregon women’s volleyball team continued to earn respect as one of the nation’s elite programs with a 20th-place preseason national ranking by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

The Ducks enjoyed their 44th straight week in the AVCA Top 25 poll released Tuesday, a stretch that has included top-10 appearances in 2007, ’08 and ’09, and 14 editions altogether in that span.

All-time in school history, the Ducks were ranked in the AVCA preseason poll for the third straight season for the first time ever. Tuesday’s top-20 preseason honor was also the eighth all-time for UO since 1982, and prior preseason rankings follow: 11th (2008), 14th (1988, 2009), 15th (1985), 18th (1986, ‘87) and 20th (1990).

The Pac-10’s reputation as the nation’s top volleyball league was again validated as four teams ranked top 11 nationally - No. 4 Stanford, No. 8 Washington, No. 10 USC and No. 11 California – and three others stood top 20 - No. 16 UCLA, No. 18 Arizona and No. 20 UO.

Comparing the various volleyball leagues, four others had multiple schools listed - the Big Ten (4), SEC (4), Big 12 (3) and West Coast Conference (2) – and five sported single teams – the ACC, Atlantic 10, Missouri Valley and Western Athletic.

Returning national champion Penn State was tabbed first overall and received 40 of 60 possible first-place votes, while No. 2 Nebraska and No. 3 Texas claimed 16 and four first-place votes, respectively. The Nittany Lions have won the last three national titles, Texas was the national runner-up in ’09 after falling 3-2 in the national finale, and the Cornhuskers lost 3-1 to the Longhorns in the regional final last December.

Glancing at this year’s schedule, UO will also face two more teams that received votes this week – Florida International and Santa Clara – on the road the next month.

More information on the AVCA and its polls are available at its www.AVCA.org website, and to read an AVCA release about the preseason poll click here.

This Saturday, August 21, Oregon fans will get another chance to cheer on both current and former Ducks in a free exhibition against various alumni that will start at 7 p.m. at McArthur Court. Spectators are asked to bring three canned goods to donate to the Lane County Food Bank.

A week later, UO officially kicks off the season at the Fresno State Classic against Santa Clara, Friday, August 27 at 5 p.m. After two more matches at Fresno, Sat., Aug. 28 Oregon returns to McArthur Court to welcome Florida Gulf Coast to McArthur Court, Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. UO’s official home opener is a a Bi-Mart $2 Day, and fans can pick up a coupon at Eugene/Springfield Bi-mart locations.

Season and individual match tickets went on sale this week at www.GoDucks.com, and are available at the Duck ticket office at the Casanova Center or by calling at 1-800-WEB-FOOT (541.346.4461 locally)  during normal weekday business hours.

Last season, Oregon ranked among the nation’s top teams with its 20-10 overall record and 9-9 Pac-10 mark. UO enjoyed its fourth straight NCAA trip and a 14th-place seeding in the 64-team field, a season high national ranking of seventh, its third straight 20-win season, and its fourth straight top-six league finish.

The Ducks graduated a pair of All-Americans and a third school record holder after the ’09 campaign, but sixth-year head coach Jim Moore welcomes back plenty of talent in ‘10.

Senior outside hitter Heather Meyers is a former NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team pick, two-time All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention, and one of the program’s top all-time career scorers, while freshman Katherine Fischer was a 2009 All-Pac-10 Freshman Team choice.

Another pair of returning starters, sophomores Haley Jacob and Kellie Kawasaki, manned the libero position last year. Junior middle blocker Rhiannon Tooker, and sophomore hitters Lauren Gross and Jocelyn Levig are also key returnees.

The team’s talented and deep newcomer class is headlined by redshirt sophomore transfer Alaina Bergsma who ranked nationally for Loyola Marymount in 2009 in points (ninth, 5.24 per set), kills (14th, 4.47 p/s) and aces (45th, 0.40 p/s), and was an All-West Coast Conference honoree and WCC Freshman of the Year.

Oregon’s other additions include redshirt freshman libero Courtney Vaccarello (San Jose, Calif.), freshman setters Camryn Irwin (Brush Prairie, Wash.) and Lauren Plum (Poway, Calif.), outside hitter Jaklyn Wheeler (Red Bluff, Calif.) and middle blocker Ariana Williams (Riverside, Calif.).



AVCA Division I Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll

Rank School (First-Place Votes) / Pts / '09 Record / '09 Final Rank
1 Penn State (40) 1456 38-0 1
2 Nebraska (16) 1384 26-7 5
3 Texas (4) 1352 29-2 2
4 Stanford 1296 23-8 7
5 Hawai’i 1166 32-3 3
T-6 Illinois 1149 31-3 10
T-6 Minnesota 1149 28-9 4
8 Washington 1061 24-6 13
9 Iowa State 1005 27-5 6
10 Southern California 947 22-10 16
11 California 848 21-11 8
12 Michigan 793 27-10 9
13 Florida 722 25-6 15
14 Kentucky 678 29-5 12
15 Florida State 671 31-3 11
16 UCLA 462 24-9 14
17 Colorado State 436 25-6 17
18 Arizona 325 19-11 NR
19 Tennessee 310 27-8 24
20 Oregon 282 20-10 18
21 Dayton 266 30-4 25
22 San Diego 225 18-7 NR
23 LSU 203 25-7 19
24 Northern Iowa 195 31-3 23
25 St. Mary’s (Calif.) 156 23-5 22

Others Receiving Votes (and appearing on two or more ballots): Long Beach State 132; Baylor 122; Ohio State 120; Texas A&M 117; Oklahoma 69; Duke 63; Cincinnati 53; UC Santa Barbara 51; Utah 34; Pepperdine 24; UC Irvine 24; Notre Dame 21; Ohio 18; Saint Louis 18; New Mexico 15; New Mexico State 14; San Diego State 14; Georgia Tech 13; Rice 8; Michigan State 5; Santa Clara 5; Wisconsin 5; Wichita State 4; Florida International 3; Missouri State 2

*Five schools were listed on only one ballot for a total of 14 points.

Next poll: August 30, 2010


Preseason Top 25 Teams By Conference
Pac-10 (7) – No. 4 Stanford, No. 8 Washington, No. 10 USC, No. 11 California, No. 16 UCLA, No. 18 Arizona, No. 20 Oregon
Big Ten (4) – No. 1 Penn State, No. 6t Illinois, No. 6t Minnesota, No. 12 Michigan
SEC (4) – No. 13 Florida, No. 14 Kentucky, No. 19 Tennessee, No. 23 LSU
Big 12 (3) – No.2 Nebraska, No. 3 Texas, No. 9 Iowa State
West Coast (2) – No. 22 San Diego, No. 25 St Mary’s
Atlantic Coast (1) – No. 15 Florida State
Atlantic 10 (1) – No. 21 Dayton
Missouri Valley (1) – No. 24 Northern Iowa
Mountain West (1) – No. 17 Colorado State
Western Athletic Coast (1) – No. 5 Hawai’i



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