Coaches Tab Long Beach State As Preseason Favorite
The Big West Conference head coaches selected Long Beach State to claim the 2010 women's volleyball title after receiving seven first-place votes and 79 total points, according to the volleyball preseason poll conducted today.
If the coaches' prediction reigns true, the 49ers would capture their third straight championship, 11th overall. Long Beach State (22-9) is coming off a stellar season where it won the Big West title with a 12-4 mark and advanced to its 23rd consecutive NCAA Tournament, 24th overall. Despite losing two starters, the 49ers still showcase a veteran squad as they welcome back 12 letterwinners, which includes starting setter and All-Big West First Team selection Ashley Lee and fellow first teamer Caitlin Ledoux. The junior outside hitter finished second on the team and sixth in the Big West in kill average with a 3.58 clip. Also added to the mix is a recruiting class ranked 12th in the nation by PrepVolleyball.
The UC Irvine Anteaters received one first-place vote and a total of 68 points to secure the second spot. They bring back five starters and 12 letterwinners from a roster that tallied a 22-8 overall mark and an 11-5 Big West record, tying them for second with UC Santa Barbara. All-Big West First Team members Kari Pestolesi and Juliane Piggott paced the 'Eaters in kills last season and are set to lead the way once again.
UC Santa Barbara nabbed one first-place vote and 65 overall points to claim the third spot in the poll. The Gauchos return five starters and 10 letterwinners from a 2009 roster that registered an overall record of 22-8 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
Cal State Fullerton was selected fourth after picking up 47 points, followed by Cal Poly and UC Davis, who were tied for fifth with 45 points. The Tigers of Pacific secured seventh place with 28 points and Cal State Northridge and UC Riverside were knotted in the eighth spot with 14 points apiece.
2010 Big West Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Long Beach State (7) - 79
2. UC Irvine (1) - 68
3. UC Santa Barbara (1) - 65
4. Cal State Fullerton - 47
T5. Cal Poly - 45
T5. UC Davis - 45
7. Pacific - 28
T8. Cal State Northridge - 14
T8. UC Riverside - 14
( ) Denotes first place votes