LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Big West Conference released the 2017 Big West Women’s Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll on Tuesday, with Long Beach State predicted for a third place finish. The Beach is slotted behind defending champion Hawai’i and Cal Poly in the poll, which is based on ballots from the conference’s nine head coaches.
Long Beach State is coming off a second-place finish in 2016, and received 65 points in this year’s preseason poll. The gap between the Beach and fourth-place UC Santa Barbara (49 points) is the largest between any two teams in the poll, indicating the expectation for a strong top three teams in conference this upcoming season.
Hawai’i has been selected to repeat as champion, receiving 78 points with six first-place votes. Cal Poly is close behind with 78 points and a pair of first-place votes, while LBSU received the ninth first-place vote in the poll.
The Beach will be led by new head coach Joy McKienzie-Fuerbringer in 2017 and will return a pair of First Team All-Big West middles—sophomore YiZhi Xue and senior Ashley Murray. Xue and teammate Hailey Harward were also members of the Big West All-Freshman team in 2016.
LBSU will play its annual alumni match on Aug. 19 at 7pm at Walter Pyramid, before opening the regular season on Aug. 25 at home against defending national champion Stanford at Noon. Single-game tickets are on sale now for the entire 2017 women’s volleyball season.
2017 Big West Women’s Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll:
1. Hawai’i (6) 78
2. Cal Poly (2) 71
3. Long Beach State (1) 65
4. UC Santa Barbara 49
5. UC Irvine 41
6. UC Davis 39
7. CSUN 33
8. UC Riverside 19
9. Cal State Fullerton 10
( ) Denotes first place votes
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