Sand Volleyball
    Women of Troy Ranked No. 2 in First AVCA Poll of 2014
    USC sand volleyball All-American Kirby Burnham
    USC sand volleyball All-American Kirby Burnham
    
    

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    2014 AVCA Sand Volleyball Preseason Poll

    Feb. 28, 2014

    LOS ANGELES - The USC women's sand volleyball team earned the No. 2 ranking in the 2014 AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll released on Friday, Feb. 28. The Women of Troy posted a 16-8 mark last season and finished as semifinalists at the AVCA Team Championships held in Gulf Shores, Ala.

    "I'm definitely very pleased to come out among the top four teams in the nation," said head coach Anna Collier. "Obviously, this is only the first poll of the season, so now, we just want to go out and compete to qualify for the national championships. I think if you take a look at the top 10 teams, these are all great collegiate indoor volleyball programs. It certainly speaks to the strength of volleyball as a sport in this country and the incredible growth of sand volleyball among the nation's top institutions."

    Pepperdine claimed the top spot in the poll. The Waves won the first AVCA sand volleyball title in 2012 and hold an incredible 34-1 mark all-time in dual matches. Pepperdine's only loss came in the 2013 championship match against eventual champion Long Beach State. LBSU is the third-ranked team in the preseason poll and was followed by Florida State in fourth, and Hawai'i in fifth.

    The Trojans are one of three teams from the Pac-12 in the top 10. UCLA received enough votes to rank sixth in the first poll while Stanford grabbed the last spot at No. 10. Between the two, Nebraska ranked No. 7, with Saint Mary's College at No. 8, and Florida International at No. 9.

    USC will face at least seven preseason ranked opponents throughout the 2014 season with several opportunities to meet those teams more than once. The Trojans will kick off the spring with their annual Alumni Match at Merle Norman Stadium on Thursday (March 6) at 6:30 p.m. PT. USC's first official dual matches come just two days later as it faces Cal State Northridge (11 a.m. PT) and host Pepperdine (noon PT) in Malibu, Calif., on Saturday, March 8.

    The Women of Troy will appear on national television on two home dates, this season. On March 27, USC's matches against CSUN and Oregon will be broadcast live by the Pac-12 Networks. Then on April 3, the Trojans host Loyola Marymount and sixth-ranked rival UCLA for duals that will also be carried by the Pac-12 Networks.

    Participation in sand volleyball has grown incrementally since the inaugural season in 2012, and now, more than 40 schools are expected to field programs this season. Such rapid growth makes sand volleyball the fastest-growing Emerging Sport in NCAA history. All teams will start this season with the same goal in mind: earning a berth in the 2014 AVCA Collegiate Sand Volleyball National Championships in Gulf Shores, Ala., May 2-4.

    Last season, Stevi Robinson and senior captain Kirby Burnham claimed the AVCA's pairs championship and were named the first-ever sand volleyball All-Americans in USC history.

    Please visit USCTrojans.com for more information and a link to the schedule page.

    2014 AVCA SAND VOLLEYBALL PRESEASON POLL

    Rank School 2014 Record Previous Rank
    1 Pepperdine 0-0 NA
    2 Southern California 0-0 NA
    3 Long Beach State 0-0 NA
    4 Florida State 0-0 NA
    5 University of Hawai'i 0-0 NA
    6 UCLA 0-0 NA
    7 Nebraska 0-0 NA
    8 Saint Mary's College 0-0 NA
    9 Florida International 0-0 NA
    10 Stanford 0-0 NA