2010 WCC PRESEASON COACHES POLL AND ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM
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
WCC AMONG ELITE VOLLEYBALL CONFERENCES IN THE COUNTRY
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
SAINT MARY'S MAKES HISTORY IN 2009 SEASON
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)