Volleyball Picked To Finish Seventh In Preseason Coaches Poll
Aug. 5, 2004
Utah State University's women's volleyball team has been picked to finish seventh in the Big West according to the conference's coaches, as the Aggies received 44 votes. Defending champs UC Santa Barbara is tabbed to win the league again as the Gauchos garnered nine of the 10 possible first-place votes. USU was also picked to finish seventh in last year's preseason poll. "Given the fact we have a lot of young players in our program being picked seventh is probably an accurate preseason ranking ," said fourth-year head coach Burt Fuller. "Our team will be tested right away with matches against Standord, St. Mary's and Nevada, and our goal is to finish in the upper half of the conference and advance to the NCAA Tournament." Utah State returns four starters and seven letterwinners from last year's team that finished 18-12 on the season and tied for fifth-place in the Big West Conference with a 10-8 league mark. Among those returning for USU is junior Zuzana Cernianska who was named a first-team all-Big West selection last year, and freshmen Beth Hodge and Mari Ruddick who were named to the all-freshman team in the Big West. Utah State opens the 2004 season against national power Stanford on Fri., Sept. 3 at a tournament in Reno, Nevada. USU's first home match will be on Sept. 16 at 7 p.m. against Cal State Northridge in the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
BIG WEST VOLLEYBALL COACHES POLL 1. UC Santa Barbara (9) 99 2. Long Beach State (1) 84 UC Irvine 84 4. Pacific 62 5. Idaho 58 6. Cal State Northridge 50 7. UTAH STATE 44 8. Cal Poly 29 9. Cal State Fullerton 21 10. UC Riverside 19 ( )First-place votes