Cal Poly Receives No. 24 Ranking In Preseason Poll
For the first time since 2008, defending Big West Conference Champion Cal Poly is ranked in the American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Top 25 Poll, capturing the 24th spot.
After going 27-3 last year, the Mustangs ended the season ranked No. 22 in the final AVCA Top 25 Poll. At one point during the season they were ranked as high as No. 21. In last year’s AVCA Preseason Poll they were in the ‘others receiving votes’ category before breaking into the Top 25 October 9.
The Mustangs are coming off a year where they posted the program’s best overall record of 27-3, a perfect 16-0 Big West Conference mark and an undefeated home record for the first time since 2007. Led by 2017 AVCA Pacific North Coach of the Year Sam Crosson, Cal Poly broke the AVCA Top 25 and posted its first NCAA Tournament win since 2007. As a team, the Mustangs concluded 2017 ranked in the nation’s Top 10 in kills per set (2nd - 15.07), assists (4th - 14.06), win/loss percentage (5th - .900) and hitting percentage (7th - .310).
They return four players who earned Big West postseason awards this past season in seniors Adlee Van Winden and Katherine Brouker, junior Torrey Van Winden and sophomore Madilyn Mercer. There are six new additions to the team, five true freshmen and one transfer from Duke, who will all be competing for playing time. Torrey Van Winden finished the season sixth in the nation in kills per set (4.72), second in the Big West. She was also named to the Pacific North AVCA All-Region First Team. Adlee Van Winden finished eighth in the Big West in kills per set (3.32). She also ranked seventh in service aces in the conference (.29 APS). Brouker will once again start at libero for the Mustangs. She led the team in digs with 407, fourth most in the Big West. One area that needs to be filled is the setter position after losing Taylor Nelson, who finished her career second all-time in assists in program history with 4,277.
Just a day ago Cal Poly was selected as the preseason favorite in the 2018 Big West Conference coaches poll, while Hawai’i finished second and was followed by UC Irvine in third place.
AVCA Preseason Top 25
1. Stanford (43)
2. Nebraska (20)
6. Penn State
7. Florida (1)
14. San Diego
21. Iowa State
22. Michigan State
24. Cal Poly
25. Colorado State
Others receiving votes: Marquette 163; Michigan 153; Missouri 148; Wichita State 103; Louisville 88; Kansas 66; Western Kentucky 58; Washington State 47; Hawai’i 27; Florida State 17; LSU 13; Miami (FL) 8; Oregon State 6; Missouri State 4