All the talk these days, understandably, is about high expectations surrounding the Ducks’ football team. However, yet another powerhouse Oregon squad has made a top-10 appearance on a preseason poll.
The NVCA Volleyball Coaches Poll was released on Thursday and Oregon is ranked #8. Last December, the Ducks — led by national Player of the Year Alaina Bergsma and Liz Brenner — met Texas for the national title but lost in a heartbreaker.
This year, with the departure of Bergsma and three seniors — Haley Jacob, Katherine Fischer and Liberos Kellie Kawasaki — the reigning runners-up will need to rely on the skills of Brenner and All-American setter Lauren Plum, to make it back to the national title game.
The Longhorns, since being crowned champions, sit at #1, followed by Penn State and three Pac-12 teams: Stanford (#3), USC (#4) and Washington (#5). The only other Pac-12 school to make the list was UCLA at #12.
Last season the Ducks’ volleyball team quickly became a popular and entertaining team to watch. They cruised to a 30-5 record led by the brilliant play of Bergsma and Brenner, each receiving nationwide recognition after their strong Final Four performances.
The long road back to this year’s Final Four begins August 17 when the Ducks open their season with two exhibition games. Their first Pac-12 match-up is set for September 25 against Oregon State in Corvallis.