Utah’s gradual rise in the Pac-12 is getting noticed.
The University of Utah women’s volleyball team was picked fourth overall in Wednesday’s preseason Pac-12 coaches poll. That marks the highest preseason ranking the Utes have had in the coaches poll since entering the Pac-12 in 2012. The previous high was No. 8 a year ago.
The Washington Huskies were the trendy preseason pick by Pac-12 coaches, predicted to win the conference title in 2017 after earning eight of the 12 first-place votes. Stanford (3) and Utah (1) were the only other teams to earn a first-place vote in the annual preseason poll. The Cardinal (No. 2) and Oregon (No. 3) rounded out the top three teams in the poll.
Utah senior outside hitter Adora Anae was selected as part of the All-Pac-12 volleyball preseason team. Anae was included in the 14-member selection after a standout junior campaign with the Utes last year. The senior from Punaluu, Hawaii, was a first-team All-Pac-12 selection as well as a second-team All-American a year ago.
Anae led the Pac-12 with 4.7 kills and 5.2 points per set last season. She also became Utah’s all-time leader in kills with 592. The Utes open the 2017 regular season Aug. 25 and 26 at the Bluegrass Battle in Lexington, Ky. Utah will face Cincinnati, Kentucky and Arkansas State.
2017 PAC-12PRESEASON COACHES’ POLL <br>1. Washington(8) • 118 <br>2. Stanford (3) • 113 <br>3. Oregon • 93 <br>4. Utah (1) • 88 <br>5. UCLA • 83 <br>6. USC • 71 <br>7. Washington State • 66 <br>8. Arizona • 51 <br>9. Colorado • 38 <br>10. Oregon State • 33 <br>11. California • 23 <br>12. Arizona State • 15