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WCC Volleyball Preseason Notes

Aug. 25, 2010

Complete Release in PDF Format


The 2010 WCC women's volleyball season will start on Friday with all eight teams competing in tournaments around the country. San Diego and Saint Mary's were both ranked in the AVCA Division I Coaches Preseason Top 25 Poll, coming in at No. 22 and No. 25, respectively. The Toreros and Gaels are both expected to have successful seasons, as the Toreros were chosen to finish first in the 2010 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll and last year's WCC Champion, the Gaels, come off one of their best seasons in program history.


Overall Record: 0-0
WCC Record: 0-0
  • Gonzaga opens the 2010 season at the North Dakota State Invitational. The Zags will take on Drake on Friday at 9:00 AM and tournament host North Dakota at 5:00 PM.

  • The Zags return eight letterwinners from last year's squad, including SR Caitlin Cozad and JR Caprina Goodwin, who combined for 260.0 blocks last season, the most of any duo in the conference.

  • Second year head coach Dave Gantt will also look to his six newcomers to fill the void of two graduated starters, 2009 All-WCC honorable mention selections Michelle Boevers and Layne Brosky.

  • Gonzaga was chosen sixth in the 2010 WCC Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll. The Bulldogs finished sixth in the WCC last year after compiling an 10-18 overall record and a 5-9 record in conference play.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Loyola Marymount will start the 2010 season against No. 10-ranked USC at the Holiday Inn LA City Center Trojan Invitational on Friday at 7:30 PM. The Lions will then face Cal State Fullerton and Bucknell on Saturday.

  • The Lions will be led by new head coach Tom Black, who previously coached at UC San Diego. His team features a lineup of five newcomers and 10 letterwinners, five of which were starters from last year's squad.

  • Loyola Marymount was chosen to finish eighth in the 2010 WCC Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll.

  • The Lions finished seventh last season with a 12-17 overall record and 3-11 mark in the WCC.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Pepperdine will jump start the 2010 season against New Mexico at the MCM Elegante Lobo Classic on Friday at 6:30 PM. The Waves will then take on No. 4-ranked Stanford and Tulane the following day.

  • Head coach Nina Matthies returns 11 letterwinners and welcomes three newcomers to this year's team. Returning starters include 2009 All-WCC First Team member JR Kim Hill and All-WCC Honorable Mention selections SO Victoria Adelhelm and SR Stevi Robinson.

  • Pepperdine was chosen to finish third in the 2010 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll and was also given a first place vote. Hill also appeared on the preseason all-conference list after leading the league in hitting percentage (.475) during WCC play last season.

  • The Waves ended the 2009 season with a third place finish after going 9-5 in WCC competition and 16-11 overall.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Portland sets off the 2010 season against Oregon State at the Corvallis Invitational on Friday at 7:00 PM.

  • Head coach Joe Houck enters his third season with the Pilots with four newcomers and eight returning letterwinners. 2009 All-WCC All-Freshman Team selection Ariel Usher will return this season, along with SR Danielle Dupar, who finished the 2009 campaign ranked third in the league in digs (4.16) during conference play and is the ninth player in Pilot history to reach the 1,000 mark.

  • Portland was chosen to finish seventh in the 2010 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll, while Usher was named to the preseason all-conference list. Usher's selection to the all-freshman team last season was the second time any Pilot had been named to the all-freshman team since 1997.

  • The Pilots finished eighth in the WCC last season with a 2-12 conference record and 6-23 overall.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Saint Mary's commences the 2010 season at the Long Beach State Baden Classic, taking on UNLV and Sacred Heart on Friday and then facing tournament host Long Beach State on Saturday at 7:00 PM.

  • The reigning WCC Champion Saint Mary's comes off its best conference season in program history, going 13-1 in WCC play and going undefeated at home. The Gaels return eight letterwinners, including 2009 All-WCC First Team selection SR Shannon Lowell, 2009 All-WCC Freshman selection SO Missy White and 2009 all-conference honorable mentions SO Lauren Corp, SR Megan York, and SR Kapua Kamana'o.

  • 2009 WCC Coach of the Year Rob Browning's team was chosen to finish second in the 2010 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll. Corp, Kamana'o and Lowell also appeared on the preseason all-conference list.

  • SMC went 23-5 overall last season and advanced to the second round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Diego opens its season at the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational, leading off against No. 5-ranked Hawai'i on Friday at 10:00 AM. The Toreros will continue the following day versus No. 16-ranked UCLA and Kansas State University.

  • San Diego returns nine letterwinners from last year's squad, including a trio of seniors that were named to the 2009 all-conference preseason list: 2008 WCC Player of the Year Amy DeGroot, 2009 WCC Player of the Year Ali Troost, and 2009 All-WCC honorable mention Kelsi Myers.

  • The Toreros were tabbed as this year's favorite in the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll, receiving six first place votes from the conference coaches. USD looks to take home its fourth WCC title.

  • San Diego placed second in conference last year after going 10-4 in WCC play and 18-7 overall.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • San Francisco starts the 2010 season by travelling to the Bluejay Invitational, where the Dons will take on Creighton on Friday at 4:30 PM. On Saturday, USF will compete against Kansas at 8:00 AM and Lipscomb at 4:30 PM.

  • The Dons will be returning six letterwinners, including two-time All-WCC First Team selection Sarah Mandala. Mandala paced the league with 508 kills last season, marking the most by a junior in school history. Her kills per set average (4.84) also ranked fifth in the country.

  • San Francisco was chosen to place fifth this year, according to the WCC Preseason Coaches Poll. Mandala was also selected to the preseason all-conference team.

  • The Dons tied with Santa Clara for fourth last year after putting together a 7-7 conference record and a 13-14 record overall.
  • Overall Record: 0-0
    WCC Record: 0-0
  • Santa Clara will start off the 2010 season against No. 20-ranked Oregon at the Fresno State Classic on Friday at 5:00 PM. The Broncos will then take on host Fresno State on Saturday at 12:00 PM and UC Riverside at 5:00 PM.H

  • Santa Clara returns 11 letterwinners, including five starters. With the graduation of two of last year's starters, 2009 All-WCC First Team member Lindsy Davigeadono and Kim Courtney, 12-year head coach Jon Wallace looks to his young players to fill the void, such as 2009 All-WCC Honorable Mention SO Dana Knudsen and freshmen Megan Anders and Ali Rambis.

  • The Broncos were chosen to take fourth this season in the 2010 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll, while Knudsen was named to the preseason all-conference list.

  • Santa Clara tied with San Francisco for fourth place in the WCC in 2009, going 7-7 in conference play and 17-12 overall.

    Two West Coast Conference women's volleyball teams were ranked in the national preseason polls, with two more receiving votes. The University of San Diego came in at No. 22 in the AVCA poll, while Saint Mary's College ranked 25th. The Toreros, chosen to finish first in the 2010 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll, looks to win its fourth WCC title in six years, while the Gaels come back to defend its WCC title. The Gaels were the only WCC team to compete in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, falling in the second round to then No. 4-ranked Stanford. Pepperdine and Santa Clara, last year's third and fourth place teams in the conference, also received votes in the AVCA poll.

    After finishing in second place last season, the San Diego Toreros have been selected to regain the top spot in the 2010 West Coast Conference Coaches Preseason Poll and earn their fourth WCC title in six years. The Toreros received six first place votes and a total of 48 points from the conference coaches, as they return 2009 WCC Player of the Year and All-American Ali Troost, who was named to the preseason all-conference team along with 2008 WCC Player of the Year and All-American Amy DeGroot and 2009 all-conference honorable mention selection Kelsi Myers.

    Reigning WCC Champion Saint Mary's took the second place spot with one first place vote and a total of 43 points. Rob Browning, the 2009 WCC Coach of the Year, returns four starters from a team that fell at fourth-seeded Stanford in five sets in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Gaels return 2009 All-WCC First Team member Shannon Lowell, 2009 All-Freshman Team member Lauren Corp, and all-conference honorable mention pick Kapua Kamana'o.

    Pepperdine, which received the remaining first place vote, tallied 36 points to earn the third place spot. The Waves return five starters, three of which appeared on last year's all-conference team, including preseason all-conference selection Kim Hill, who garnered First Team honors last season after leading the WCC in hitting percentage. Rounding out the top half of the poll for the second year in a row was Santa Clara with 33 points. Bronco middle blocker Dana Knudsen was selected to this year's preseason all-conference team after earning all-WCC honorable mention honors last season.

    San Francisco landed in the fifth spot with 23 points. The Dons return four starters, highlighted by preseason all-conference member Sarah Mandala, a 2009 All-WCC First Team member who led the conference in kills per set last season, while adding 10 newcomers to this year's roster. Gonzaga tallied 18 points for a sixth place finish and return five of its seven starters from last season in Kaprina Goodwin, Caitlin Cozad, Denise Van de Mortel, Laura Day and Allyson Powell.

    Portland edged Loyola Marymount for the seventh place spot with 12 points. The team returns preseason all-conference member Ariel Usher, who led the team in points in 2009 and finished in the WCC's Top 10 in hitting percentage. Loyola Marymount rounded out the preseason poll with 11 points and is led this season by first year head coach Tom Black.

    2010 WCC Preseason Coaches Poll
    1. USD - 48 points (6)
    2. SMC - 43 (1)
    3. PEP - 36 (1)
    4. SCU - 33
    5. USF - 23
    6. GON - 18
    7. POR - 12
    7. LMU - 11
    (First place votes)

    2010 Preseason All-Conference Team
    Lauren Corp, SMC, SO, OH
    Amy DeGroot, USD, RSR, OH
    Kim Hill, PEP, JR, MB
    Kapua Kamana'o, SMC, SR, S
    Dana Knudsen, SCU, SO, MB
    Shannon Lowell, SMC, SR, MB
    Sarah Mandala, USF, SR, OH
    Kelsi Myers, USD, SR, S
    Ali Troost, USD, SR, RS
    Ariel Usher, POR, SO, MB

    Over the last eight seasons, the WCC has established itself as one of the premier women's volleyball conferences in the country. Over the past five seasons, the WCC has appeared in the top five RPI three times. In 2008, the WCC had one of its best seasons, tying for a conference high with the fourth best NCAA RPI ranking in the country. Since then, the WCC has remained in the top 10 in Division I RPI out of the 32 total conferences.

    WCC RPI Rankings
    2009 8th
    2008 4th
    2007 6th
    2006 5th
    2005 4th
    2004 6th
    2003 4th
    2002 7th

    The Saint Mary's volleyball team clinched the 2009 WCC title by outdueling 2008 WCC Champion San Diego in a five set battle (25-18, 25-19, 20-25, 17-25, and 15-10) that featured 30 ties and 10 lead changes. The win was the Gaels' first ever WCC Championship in program history.

    After taking home the championship title, Saint Mary's then finished off the regular season with a sweep over BYU to remain undefeated at home and record the team's third straight sweep. The Gaels' 13-1 record is the best conference finish in school history.

    SMC Results in 2009 NCAA Tournament
    SAINT MARY'S def. UC Santa Barbara, 3-2
    (24-26, 22-25, 25-20, 25-14, 15-13)

    No. 4 Stanford def. SAINT MARY'S, 3-2
    (21-25, 25-21, 25-22, 24-26, 15-13)