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Volleyball Ranked No. 20 in AVCA Preseason Poll

Aug. 9, 2006

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego women's volleyball team opens its 2006 campaign ranked No. 20 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason poll.

The 20th ranked Toreros will look to make their make their seventh consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament this season and can rely on senior middle hitter Christie Dawson, an All-West Coast Conference first-team selection and All-America honorable mention in 2005, as well as senior outside hitter Kristen Carlson to get them there.

The Toreros will be under the direction of interim head coach Brent Hilliard this season as he takes over the reigns from USD head coach Jennifer Petrie, who is taking the semester off to spend time with her new born son Charles, her two-year old daughter Jane, as well as time with her husband Mark. Petrie, who just completed her 7th year, will return to her head coaching position for the 2007 season.

USD joins two other WCC teams that appear in the CSTV/AVCA top-25 preseason poll as Pepperdine University checks in at No. 19 and the defending WCC Champion Santa Clara University Broncos are ranked No.6 after their run to the final four of the 2005 NCAA Tournament.

For the second straight year, the University of Nebraska enters the season as the No. 1 team in the nation. Penn State University took the No. 2 spot in the poll, while defending National Champion University of Washington checked in at No. 3. Stanford University and the University of Florida, ranked fourth and fifth, round out the top of the poll.

Led by Washington and Stanford's positions in the top five, the Pac-10 secured three of the top ten spots on the poll, and six of the Top 25. The Big Ten was next with five spots on the poll, with Penn State and Wisconsin landing in the top ten. The Big 12 produced four and the WCC three teams out of 25, while the BIG EAST and the SEC are represented by two teams apiece. The WAC, MAC, and Mountain West are each represented by one team on the preseason poll.