The 2010 WAC volleyball preseason coaches poll was released yesterday and the Aggies were picked to finish second behind Hawai'i. The Aggies also had four players named to the preseason All-WAC team, the most of any of the nine schools. The four players, Kelsey Brennan, Jennah DeVries, Kayleigh Giddens and Whitney Woods, were all named to last year's All-Tournament team as well.
As far as the rest of the predicted finishes, last year's third place team, Idaho, was picked to finish sixth. Fresno State was picked to finish third, their highest preseason pick since the 2004 season. Utah State was picked to finish fourth, Boise State fifth, Nevada seventh, Louisiana Tech eighth and San Jose State ninth. As was the case last season, only the top six in the final regular season standings will play in the WAC tournament.
Here are a few quotes from coaches around the league (courtesy of their local papers or media relations departments).
[NM State head coach Mike Jordan]
"We have four first team all-conference players back, which is a great start. There's going to be good competition for a couple of lineup spots on our team and we are deeper than we were last year. I like the look of this team a lot. I think we can be every bit as good as we were in 2008, when we tied Hawai'i for the title and were nationally ranked all year."
[Hawai'i head coach Dave Shoji]
"We always use the WAC season to tweak anything we find out in the preseason. In the preseason there is not a lot of time to experiment or look at a lot of lineups because you want to win those matches. We've got to play to win.
"The WAC season allows us to run some different things, look at alignments and that sort of thing. I'm real hesitant to do that in the preseason."
[Fresno State head coach Lauren Netherby-Sewell]
"We're gaining momentum and respect within the conference -- I like this. I suppose our fast-track rebuilding has earned notice and I'm humbled."
[Utah State head coach Grayson Dubose]
"Preseason polls are just that - preseason, no one gets an award for the preseason poll. It is a way to get people thinking about our league and volleyball. Our team is looking forward to getting in the gym Monday and working hard to improve on last season."
[Idaho head coach Debbie Buchanan]
"We don't mind being picked sixth. That's not where we want to finish, but we know we're going to have to work hard every day to prove people wrong. That's a fair pick based on what we lost after last year."
Utah State has released its women's basketball schedule and the Aggie vs. Aggie battles will happen on Saturday, January 22nd in Las Cruces and Thursday, February 24th in Logan. New Mexico State swept the regular season series with Utah State last year winning 56-55 in Logan and then rolling to a 73-54 victory a month later.
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