WAC Volleyball Coaches Poll Announced
July 12, 2006
Fresno, Calif. - The Western Athletic Conference has released the 2006 Preseason Coaches Poll for volleyball, and the Bulldogs are slated to finish sixth in 2006, one spot better than their 2005 finish. All nine members of the WAC participate in volleyball, which produced three NCAA tournament teams in 2005.
Hawai'i was once again picked to win the league. The Rainbow Wahine have won the conference every year since joining the WAC, and have a conference-match winning streak of over 100 matches. New Mexico State was picked to finish second, equaling their finish in 2005.
The Bulldogs are looking forward to a tough 2006 campaign as the team makes a full-time move into the Save Mart Center, exiting the North Gym following the 2006 Fresno State Invitational. As part of moving into a top arena, the Bulldogs will face some of the top talent in the nation as part of their non-conference schedule, hosting two 2005 NCAA tournament teams in the Fresno State invitational in Kansas State and Santa Clara, as well as playing UC Santa Barbara and defending national champion Washington at home. The schedule is also packed on the road, as the Bulldogs play USC, Loyola Marymount, Oregon and Oregon State.
The Bulldogs selection to move up is due in part to the strong core of returning starters as well as an impressive recruiting class as head coach Ruben Nieves completes his first full year in Fresno. Second-team All-WAC outside hitter Alison Pitton and four other returning starters pace the Bulldogs as the team looks to make their move up the WAC standings in 2006.
2006 WAC Volleyball Coaches' Preseason Poll
1. Hawai'i (8) - 64