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Stanford has finished first or second in the conference 26 out of 28 years
Card Picked to Win Pac-12
Courtesy: Stanford Athletics  
Release: 08/06/2014

STANFORD, Calif. - By one point, the Stanford women's volleyball team edged USC as the conference favorite in a vote among Pac-12 coaches, the conference announced today. The Cardinal, which has won six of the last eight conference championships, returns four starters and its libero from last year's team which went 27-6 and advanced to the Regional Final in the NCAA Tournament.

Stanford and USC each received five first-place votes, with the Cardinal securing 114 points to 113 for the Trojans. Defending conference champion Washington picked up the remaining two first-place votes and came in third with 106 points. Rounding out the top-5 were Arizona State (73), and California (70) and Oregon (70), which tied for fifth.

Colorado totaled 62 points to take seventh, followed by UCLA with 58 points in eighth. Arizona (51), Utah (39), Washington State (25) and Oregon State (11) complete the poll.

Stanford, which has captured 15 Pac-10/12 championships since 1986, has been selected by the coaches to win the title for the 13th time in poll history. The coaches have correctly chosen the champion 17 times out of the past 28 polls. The Cardinal has finished first or second in the conference 26 out of 28 seasons.

Stanford returns nine letterwinners to the squad, which reached at least a regional final for the ninth time under head coach John Dunning. Junior middle blocker Inky Ajanaku was a first team AVCA All-American last season, while junior Madi Bugg, the 2013 Pac-12 Setter of the Year, earned second team accolades. Senior libero Kyle Gilbert and junior outside hitter Jordan Burgess were AVCA honorable mention All-Americans.

Ajanaku, Bugg and Burgess all earned spots on the Preseason All-Pac-12 squad. Joining them was junior outside hitter Brittany Howard, who nabbed a spot on the preseason team for the second consecutive year. Stanford led all teams with four selections. USC and Washington each had two players selected.

The regular season begins on Friday, Aug. 29. Stanford will travel to Ames, Iowa, to face Iowa State at 5 p.m. PT on the Pac-12 Networks.

Following are the results of the preseason coaches' poll and the preseason All-Pac-12 squad. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams or players (first-place votes in parentheses):

2014 Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. Stanford (5), 114 points
2. USC (5), 113
3. Washington (2), 106
4. Arizona State, 73
5. California, 70
Oregon, 70
7. Colorado, 62
8. UCLA, 58
9. Arizona, 51
10. Utah, 39
11. Washington State, 25
12. Oregon State, 11

2014 Preseason All-Pac-12 Team
Inky Ajanaku, Stanford
Liz Brenner, Oregon
Samantha Bricio, USC
Madi Bugg, Stanford
Jordan Burgess, Stanford
Macey Gardner, Arizona State
Christina Higgins, California
Kyra Holt, Washington State
Brittany Howard, Stanford
Madi Kingdon, Arizona
Karsta Lowe, UCLA
Kaleigh Nelson, Washington
Ebony Nwanebu, USC
Taylor Simpson, Colorado
Krista Vansant, Washington


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