USC Women Picked Fifth in Pac-12 Volleyball Coaches Poll|
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Aug. 11, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO -- The USC women's volleyball team received 84 points and was selected to finish fifth in the Pac-12 Conference in a poll of head coaches as announced by the league office on Tuesday, Aug. 11. Trojan senior outside hitter Samantha Bricio was one of 14 players named to the Pac-12 Preseason All-Conference Team; the third preseason honor of her career.
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), the last three with head coach Mick Haley. Defending champion Stanford received the maximum points (121) and first-place votes (11) and was chosen to repeat as the league's title winner.
The coaches' pick to win the conference title has gone on to win at least a share of the Pac-12 crown 18 times of the 29 years since the poll's inception in 1986. Last year, Stanford was correctly selected to win the conference title, but it was just the second time in the last six years that the predicted winner actually finished atop the regular-season standings. USC has been selected to win the conference five times since 1998 and claimed at least a share of the title four times. Last year, the Trojans were chosen to finish second.
Arizona State had 99 points to place second in the preseason poll, a program high for the Sun Devils, while Washington earned the first-place vote of Stanford head coach John Dunning and was chosen to finish third with 97 points. Oregon had 94 points and held fourth place in the poll with USC next (84).
Colorado (61) and Arizona (60) were sixth and seventh with UCLA at eighth with 57 points. The bottom third of the poll had Oregon State ninth with 35 points and Utah in 10th place with 34 points. California was chosen to finish 11th with 28 points and Washington State had 22 points for the final spot in the coaches poll.
Bricio was one of 10 players (out of 14) on the preseason all-conference team to have received 2014 All-Conference honors. The two-time AVCA All-American is the conference's career leader in service aces (212) and carries a career .250 hitting percentage and 3.93 kps average into her final season at Troy.
In 2014, the Pac-12 sent a league-record 10 teams to the NCAA tournament, which surpassed the record of nine squads set just one year prior. Stanford advanced to the national semifinal match to mark the fifth straight year that the Pac-12 had at least one representative among the final four teams. Half of the Pac-12's NCAA teams were seeded in the top 16 and the league boasted a 10-0 record in first-round matches.
For the Trojans, the program went to a 24th straight NCAA tournament (32nd overall) and defeated Coastal Carolina in the first round, but fell to site host No. 7 North Carolina in the second round in Chapel Hill, N.C. USC finished 10th in the Pac-12 and had a 16-16 overall record. The Trojans return Bricio and All-America honorable mention libero Taylor Whittingham to the lineup in 2015 to go with a highly-touted freshman class.
USC opens the season as host of the Women of Troy Baden Invitational (Aug. 28-29) and welcomes BYU, Chicago State, and North Carolina to the Galen Center. To purchase season or single-game tickets, visit GetTrojanTix.com or call (213) 740-GOSC. Fans can also purchase the Women of Troy Invitational All-Inclusive Pack by visiting USCTrojans.com/WOTPack.
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule, please visit USCTrojans.com and follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.