Pacific Picked Fourth In The Big West Preseason Poll
Entering their final season in the Big West Conference, the Pacific women's volleyball team was picked to finish fourth by the coaches of the conference as voted in the preseason poll released on Tuesday, August 7. At the top of the poll is a familiar, but new, face to the Big West as the newest member of the conference, Hawai'i, was nearly a unanimous top pick and picked to finish just ahead of Long Beach State, the reigning conference champion. Both the Rainbow Wahine and the 49ers advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season with Hawai'i reaching the semifinals. The Rainbow Wahine's selection at the top of the poll marks the first time in three seasons the 49ers were not selected at the top of the pack heading into the new year.
For the Tigers, 2012 will mark the first time in the last six years Pacific does not have a senior hitter on the pins to fall back on offensively as the year begins. Entering the year, the Tigers will look towards a mixture of experience, in the middle, and youth, on the outsides, to do their damage in their high tempo offense. Pacific's top returner, junior Jennifer Sanders, enters her third year in the Tigers' system as the two-time all-conference middle blocker looks to continue her transformation into one of the top middles on the West Coast after posting 302 kills and a Big West best .344 hitting percentage in 2011. Running the Tigers offense for the third year is one of Pacific's three seniors, Hannah Clancy, who enters her final season of collegiate volleyball as a duel threat having posted 1186 assists and 353 digs as a junior last season. Additionally, sophomore Katy Tagart returns after earning all-conference honors in her first season at Pacific in 2011.
Pacific's season begins once again on the road as the 2012 Tigers head to Moscow, Idaho to take part in the Idaho Nike Invitational from Aug. 24-25. The team plays at home for the first time on Aug. 31 as Pacific hosts its 34th Annual Community Bankers Classic with Nevada, Northern Illinois and Portland State coming to the Spanos Center for the tournament. Conference play for the Tigers begins on Sept. 22 on the road against UC Davis as Pacific takes on its Northern California rival at 7:00 pm.
2012 Big West Women's Volleyball
Preseason Coaches Poll
1. Hawaii (9), 99
2. Long Beach State, 88
3. Cal State Northridge, 72
4. Pacific, 60
4. UC Santa Barbara, 60
6. Cal State Fullerton, 46
7. Cal Poly (1), 43
8. UC Davis, 37
9. UC Irvine, 31
10. UC Riverside, 14( ) Denotes first place votes