Trojans Picked to Finish Second in Pac-12 Preseason Coaches Poll
Aug. 7, 2013
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - In a preseason poll of the Pac-12's women's volleyball head coaches, USC received two first-place votes and was selected to finish in second place in 2013. Coaches also voted on the first-ever 14-member preseason all-conference team that honors senior libero Natalie Hagglund and sophomore outside hitter Samantha Bricio.
The Women of Troy have the distinction of winning the first-ever Pac-12 title in 2011 and are the holders of seven league crowns (1976, '77, '80, 2000, '02, '03, '11). USC finished with 111 points in the preseason poll and followed just defending champion Stanford which received 10 first-place votes for 120 points.
Washington was picked to finish third with 99 points and was followed by Oregon (91) which was the NCAA runner-up in 2012. UCLA (76) and Arizona State (65) were picked to finish fifth and sixth, respectively. California earned 59 points for a seventh-place predicted finish with Arizona (52) in eighth and Utah (49) in ninth. Colorado was picked 10th with 30 points while Washington State (21) and Oregon State (19) received the fewest points among the conference's 12 teams.
The top team in the Pac-12 preseason coaches' poll has gone on to win at least a share of the league title 17 times out of the 27 years since the poll's inception in 1986. The Trojans have been selected to win the conference five times since 1998 and have claimed at least a share of the title four times. Last year, USC was picked to finish third.
USC was one of four teams to have multiple players chosen to the preseason all-conference team. Stanford topped all teams with four selections including Inky Ajanaku, Jordan Burgess, Brittany Howard, and Carly Wopat. Oregon had Liz Brenner and Lauren Plum, and Washington's Kylin Munoz and Krista Vansant were each chosen to the preseason team. Arizona (Madi Kingdon), Arizona State (Macey Gardner), California (Adrienne Gehan), and UCLA (Kelly Reeves) were each represented with one player on the team.
Last year, the Trojans appeared in their fourth NCAA regional final in six years. Hagglund became a two-time AVCA All-American and received her second Pac-12 Libero of the Year award. Bricio was chosen as the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year and was a third-team Volleyball Magazine All-American. USC finished in third place in the conference with a 15-5 record (30-6 overall). The Trojans are led by 13th-year head coach Mick Haley in his 37th year overall.
The Trojans open 2013 on the road at the Mortar Board Premiere hosted by Purdue (Aug. 30-31) in West Lafayette, Ind. USC will play its first home match against UC Irvine at 7 p.m. PT on Wednesday (Sept. 18). The Trojans will face the Anteaters in a nationally televised match on ESPNU. Please visit USCTrojans.com for a complete schedule and more information.