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August 12-The Pepperdine women's volleyball team is ranked No 8 in the 2002 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, which was announced on Monday

August 12-The Pepperdine women's volleyball team is ranked No. 8 in the 2002 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll, which was announced on Monday. Santa Clara joined the Waves in the AVCA top 25 at #24. San Diego (97) and Loyola Marymount (10) also received votes.

Pepperdine finished the 2001 campaign with a 23-4 overall record, captured the West Coast Conference (WCC) championship with a perfect 14-0 mark and reached the "Sweet 16" for the third time in the last four years. Pepperdine concluded the year ranked No. 8 by the AVCA and No. 9 by Volleyball Magazine.

Entering her 20th season as head coach at Pepperdine, Nina Matthies welcomes back four players who earned All-WCC honors, including junior outside hitter Katie Wilkins, who was tabbed a second team All-American, named to the All-Pacific Region team and was the WCC's "Player of the Year". Also returning to the Waves' line-up in 2002, are senior setter Paola Rodriguez (All-WCC), senior middle blocker Stacy Rouwenhorst (All-Pacific Region, All-WCC) and junior middle blocker Lyndsey Hache' (All-WCC). The roster is further bolstered by seven newcomers that comprise Volleyball Magazine's No. 7 recruiting class.

Santa Clara finished the 2001 season with a 19-10 record and a fourth-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. Wallace will look to his senior captains, twins Chrissy and Cindy Hirsch, to lead the squad in 2002.The Broncos also return are 2001 first team All-WCC performers Becky Potter and Toni Muratore, who led the SCU offense last season, posting 4.01 and 3.87 kills per game respectively.

San Diego will be looking for their second consecutive trip to the postseason as the Toreros went 22-9 in 2001 and advanced to the second round of the tournament. All-conference performers Devon Forster, Noel Frohman and Debra Robertson return to the Toreros lineup. Forster was named WCC Freshman of the Year and garnered WCC first team honors along with Frohman, while Robertson was named honorable mention.

LMU should find themselves near the top of the conference standings thanks to the return of all six starters and 11 letterwinners from last year??s 15-10 squad, including all-conference performers Kealani Kimball, Kristin Gallup, Dina Debernardi, and Nicole Oehlman. Gallup and Kimball were the Lions leaders in kills a season ago, while Debernardi lead the team in hitting percentage and Ohelman paced LMU in assists.

The following is the complete 2002 preseason AVCA poll with the 2001 records in parenthesis:

1. Stanford (33-2)
2. Nebraska (31-2)
3. USC (25-4)
4. Hawaii (29-5)
5. Long Beach State (33-1)
6. Arizona (25-5)
7. Florida (28-2)
8. PEPPERDINE (23-4)
9. Ohio State (27-4)
10. Wisconsin (27-4)
11. UCLA (21-9)
12. Pacific (28-8)
13. Utah (25-7)
14. Northern Iowa (31-2)
15. Michigan State (21-8)
16. Penn State (22-8)
17. Texas A&M (26-6)
18. Colorado State (29-4)
19. Illinois (21-9)
20. UC Santa Barbara (17-14)
21. Colorado (19-11)
22. Kansas State (20-8)
23. BYU (20-9)
24. SANTA CLARA (19-10)
25. Notre Dame (22-7)

Others receiving points and listed on two or more ballots: South Carolina (161), North Carolina (155), Texas (117), Louisville (105), San Diego (97), Washington State (81), San Jose State (67), Minnesota (66), Missouri (58), Arkansas (53), Utah State (47), Duke (36), Baylor (26), Cincinnati (12), Georgia Tech (10), Loyola Marymount (10), Michigan (10), Texas Tech (9), Cal Poly (7), Eastern Washington (7), Oregon State (7), South Florida (4), Alabama (3), Southwest Missouri State (3).