LEXINGTON, Ky. – (Hawaii Athletics) The
University of Hawai'i women's sand volleyball team is ranked fifth in the
American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Poll. Defending champion
Pepperdine has been picked as the preseason favorite.
UH opens its season on Friday, March 15 when it hosts Florida International in a dual match at Queen's Beach. The Panthers are ranked 8th in the poll and are one of four first-year program ranked in the top 10, joining UCLA (6), Nebraska (9) and Stanford (10).
More than 30 schools will be fielding a sand volleyball squad this year nearly double the number that participated during the inaugural 2012 season of the emerging collegiate sport. UH will a minimum of six of the preseason top 10 teams.
For the second straight year the AVCA will host the Collegiate Sand Volleyball Championship in Gulf Shores, Ala., with the dates set for May 3-5. The competition will consist of both a team championship, which will include the top six NCAA women's sand teams, and a pairs championship, which will consist of the top 16 collegiate doubles teams.
UH finished 4-6 in dual matches last year and did not qualify for the team championship. However among the returnees this year is All-American Jane Croson who represented UH in the pairs championship. Invitations this year will be based on 2013 season results and tournament selections will be made by a committee.
2013 AVCA Collegiate Sand Preseason Poll
4. Florida State
7. College of Charleston
8. Florida International