Aug. 12, 2009
Fresh off a successful 2008 campaign in which the WCC sent five of its eight team to the postseason, the conference placed two teams in Volleyball Magazine's top 20 preseason poll. Defending conference champion, San Diego, came in ranked 16th, while Santa Clara ranked 20th. Pepperdine, also garnered recognition by receiving votes in the poll.
The Toreros are returning nine players from last season's championship team including All-American and the 2008 West Coast Conference Player of the Year Amy Mahinalani DeGroot. Last season, DeGroot led the team with 392 kills (4.22 kps) and was second in digs with 231. USD also returns first-team All-WCC honoree and All-American candidate Ali Troost back after finishing 2008 with 221 kills, while hitting at a .291 clip. Under the direction of the reigning WCC Coach of the Year Jennifer Petrie, the Toreros are locked loaded and ready to defend their WCC crown, aim for its fourth consecutive league title and make their ninth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Tournament.
San Diego opens the 2009 season on the road at the Long Beach State Tournament on Aug. 28 as they square off against the host 49ers at 7 p.m. inside of the Pyramid.
The Broncos also return eight players from a team that made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament last year. Highlighting the returnees is Lindsy Davigeadono, who was third in the league in assists last season (10.74) and made this year's preseason all-conference team. Santa Clara ended to 2008 season ranked 25th in the nation and is already off to a good start before the season even begins as it had the 11th best recruiting class in the country according to prepvolleyball.com, tops in the league.
The Broncos will face tough competition right out the gate as they open the season against UCLA at the Hawaii Invitational on Aug. 28. Santa Clara will face Hawaii on Aug. 29, and finish up against Western Michigan who made it to the Sweet 16 last season.
The Waves return six players including four starters plus a libero from a team that made its fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance last year. Headlining the list of returnees are Stevi Robinson, 2008 WCC Defensive Player of the Year, and Kim Hill, 2008 WCC Freshman of the Year. Robinson led the league in digs (4.81), while Hill was ranked first in blocks (1.11). Also returning will be Kiah Fiers, who is ranked fifth on the school's career assists list (3,313). Pepperdine's recruiting class was also recognized nationally, ranked 12th in the country by prepvolleyball.com.
Pepperdine opens the season at the Colorado State Asics Classic, where it will take on Colorado State, Cal Poly, and Oregon State.