Cougars Ranked 20th In Preseason Poll

The BYU women's volleyball team will begin the 2008 season ranked 20th. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

PROVO -- For the second straight year, the BYU women’s volleyball team will begin the season ranked in the CSTV/AVCA Division I Coaches Top 25 Preseason Poll. The Cougars, who finished last year at No. 12, are ranked 20th in the preseason poll released Tuesday by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

“This preseason ranking is a great place for us to start our climb,” said BYU head coach Shay Goulding, who begins her first year with the Cougars in 2008. “We’re excited to get the season started on Aug. 29 against Utah State.”

BYU has a rich history of rankings in the AVCA Top 25 Poll. Among NCAA Division I programs, the Cougars are ninth all-time in total number of weeks ranked (288) and 11th in weeks ranked in the top 10 (123) and weeks ranked No. 1 (4). The Cougars have also traditionally finished strong, coming in eighth all-time in number of times ranked in the final poll (21), 10th in top-five final rankings (3) and seventh in weeks ranked No. 1 in the final poll (1). The Cougars began last season ranked No. 17 in the preseason poll and rose as high as No. 9 in the rankings before ending the year at No. 12.

Three Cougar opponents also appear in the 2008 preseason rankings. Wisconsin begins the season ranked No. 13 and will host BYU on Sept. 13 at the Inntowner Invitational. The Texas Longhorns, who will host the Cougars on Oct. 24, enter the year ranked No. 3 in the nation while Mountain West Conference foe Colorado State is ranked 17th. BYU will face the defending league champions on Sept. 20 in Fort Collins, Colo., and on Nov. 20 at home. Four other Cougar opponents received votes (Texas A&M, Utah, Missouri, Tulane). Defending NCAA Champion Penn State tops the preseason poll.