USC Tabbed Fifth in Pac-12 Volleyball Coaches Poll|
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Aug. 17, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO -- In a poll of the league's head coaches, the USC women's volleyball team was chosen to finish fifth in the Pac-12 as announced by the conference office on Wednesday, Aug. 17. Junior opposite hitter Brittany Abercrombie (Carlsbad, Calif./La Costa Canyon HS) was voted to the 14-player Preseason All-Pac-12 Team.
As the defending Pac-12 co-champion, the Women of Troy received enough votes to garner 85 points including one ballot on which the Trojans were given a first-place vote. 16-time league champion Stanford was tabbed to finish first with 119 points and nine first-place votes. UCLA was listed second with one first-place vote and 103 points. Defending co-champion Washington came in third with 99 points and also received a first-place vote. Oregon was fourth with 95 points.
Arizona (72 points), Colorado (50), Utah (48), Washington State (46), and California (27) were chosen to finish sixth through 10th. Arizona State and Oregon State were listed in 11th and 12th place with 26 and 22 points respectively.
The Trojans were also chosen to finish fifth in 2015, but finished first. USC has the distinction of winning the first-ever Pac-12 title in 2011 and is the holder of eight league crowns (1976, '77, '80, 2000, '02, '03, '11, `15), the last four with head coach Mick Haley. The coaches' pick to win the conference title has gone on to win at least a share of the Pac-12 crown 18 times of the 30 years since the poll's inception in 1986. The last time the coaches were correct was in 2014, when Stanford was selected to win the conference title, but it was only the second time in the last seven years that the predicted winner actually finished atop the regular-season standings. USC has been selected to win the conference five times since 1998 and claimed at least a share of the title four of those times.
Abercrombie was one of nine players on the Pac-12 Preseason Team to have received 2015 All-Conference honors. The other five were either honorable mention selections or were injured during the 2015 season (Inky Ajanaku, Stanford). Abercrombie is the fourth Trojan to be chosen to the league's preseason team. Three-time All-American outside hitter Samantha Bricio was named to the preseason team three times (2013-15), three-time All-American libero Natalie Hagglund was a member of the first-ever preseason team (2013) and former outside hitter Ebony Nwanebu was on the 2014 team. Last season, Abercrombie was third on the team in kills (2.36 kps) fourth in hitting percentage (.277) and points (2.76).
The seventh-ranked Women of Troy are one of five Pac-12 schools ranked in the preseason AVCA Coaches Top 25 poll and are tied for the highest-ranked league team with Washington. The Trojans will open the 2016 season as hosts of the USC Baden Invitational at Galen Center (Aug. 26-27). USC starts the year with an 8 p.m. PT match on Friday (Aug. 26) against Marquette, and will appear on Pac-12 Networks. UC Irvine and Santa Clara will also play in the season-opening tourney.
In 2015, USC claimed a share of the Pac-12 title with an 18-2 mark in league matches and received the No. 1 overall seed in the 2015 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship. Haley was named the Volleyball Magazine National Coach of the Year for the first time in his career and added the award to his Pac-12 and AVCA Pacific South Region Coach of the Year selections. He led the Trojans to a 33-3 overall record with a fifth appearance in the NCAA Regional Championship match in six years.
For more information on the USC women's volleyball team and a complete schedule and results, please visit USCTrojans.com. To purchase season and single-match tickets, please visit USCTrojans.com/tickets today. Fans of the Women of Troy can follow @USCWomensVolley on Periscope, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram.