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    Volleyball Ranked 16th in Preseason Poll

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    FIGHTING IRISH

    August 11, 1998

    NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- The University of Notre Dame women's volleyball squad will start its 1998 quest for the NCAA title ranked 16th in the nation by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) in a preseason poll released today.

    The Irish, who finished last year ranked 18th, will face four teams in the AVCA top 20 this season including 12th-ranked Colorado (Sept. 6), seventh-ranked Wisconsin (Sept. 11), 17th-ranked Michigan State (Sept. 19) and 6th-ranked Florida (Oct. 21). Of the four top 20 teams, the Irish are scheduled to play against three of them in the first eight matches of the season. Also in the poll are future 1998 opponents Georgia (30th most votes), Utah (37th) and Oral Roberts (38th). The matches with Georgia and Colorado will mean that the field for the fifth Shamrock Invitational, slated for Sept. 4-6 at Notre Dame, will include three of the top-30 preseason ranked teams.

    At the top of the USA Today/AVCA poll this season is Penn State, which lost the 1997 NCAA title match to Stanford. Penn State garnered 29 of the 60 first place votes, followed by Long Beach State (17 first place votes) which is led by preseason player of the year candidate Misty May.

    In another poll released today by Volleyball Magazine, the Irish, ranked 18th in the magazine's 1997 preseason poll, failed to make the top 20 field. Notre Dame opponents making Volleyball's poll include: Florida (11th), Wisconsin (12th), Michigan State (16th) and Oral Roberts (18th).

    Notre Dame returns four of its six starters from last year's 25-9 squad which won its third straight BIG EAST Conference title and qualified for its sixth straight NCAA playoffs.

    NOTRE DAME'S HISTORY IN THE AVCA POLL
    First Ranking: 1992 (24h in preseason poll)
    Highest Ranking: 7th (10/16/95)
    Highest Final Ranking: 12th (1994)
    Consecutive Weeks Ranked: 66 (9/9/92 - 11/5/96)

    YEAR  PRESEASON HIGHEST           FINAL
    1992  N.R.      20th (final poll) 22nd
    1993  19th      11th (10/26/93)   17th
    1994  17th      11th (11/15/94)   12th
    1995  11th      7th (9/19/95)     14th
    1996   9th      8th (9/3/95)      25th
    1997  17th      17th (preseason)  18th
    1998  16th   
    

    USA TODAY/AVCA Coaches Top 25 Poll Women's Division I Volleyball Preseason Poll - Aug. 11, 1998 Rk School (1st Votes) Ttl Pts 1997 Rec Final '97 Rank 1 Penn State (29) 1446 34-2 2 2 Long Beach State (17) 1418 33-2 3 3 USC (5) 1279 23-6 9 4 Stanford (7) 1210 33-2 1 5 Nebraska (1) 1204 27-7 8 6 Florida 1165 34-3 4 7 Wisconsin 1143 30-3 5 8 BYU 1070 29-6 7 9 Texas (1) 1040 25-7 10 10 UC Santa Barbara 938 31-5 6 11 Univ. of the Pacific 886 23-9 16 12 Colorado 795 22-9 14 13 Ohio State 514 24-11 15 14 Hawai'i 508 25-8 25 15 Arkansas 494 30-6 21 16 Notre Dame 471 25-9 18 17 Michigan State 438 19-8 NR 18 UCLA 399 16-12 NR 19 Texas A&M 386 26-8 13 20 Loyola Marymount 381 22-7 17 21 U. of San Diego 331 26-4 20 22 Washington State 330 26-7 12 23 Washington 321 20-10 11 24 Florida State 172 25-9 NR 25 Pepperdine 149 23-6 24

    Others Receiving Points: Colorado State (103), Arizona (94), Michigan (90), Maryland (88), Georgia (72), Houston (72), Illinois (67), Minnesota (64), Texas Tech (52), Kansas State (49), Oklahoma (34), Utah (34), Oral Roberts (25), Clemson (23), Northern Illinois (22), South Carolina (21), Fresno State (12), Louisville (12), Sacramento State (11), Ball State (9), Oregon State (8), San Diego State (8), Central Florida (7), Arizona State (6), South Florida (6), Illinois State (5), Temple (5), Cal Poly SLO (4), Miami (OH) (3), Auburn (2).

    Volleyball Magazine Top 20 Poll
    Women's Division I Volleyball
    Preseason Poll - Aug. 11, 1998
    Rk   Team            1997 Record  '97 Rank
    1   Long Beach State 33-2          2   
    2   Penn State       34-2          3
    3   Texas            25-6         14
    4   USC              23-6          8
    5   Stanford         33-2          1
    6   Nebraska         27-7         10
    7   Pacific          23-9         15
    8   Colorado         22-9         NR
    9   UC Santa Barbara 32-5          6
    10  Brigham Young    29-6          5
    11  Florida          34-4          7
    12  Wisconsin        30-3          4
    13  Arkansas         34-4         19
    14  UCLA             17-13        NR
    15  Hawai'i          25-8         11
    16  Michigan State   23-12        NR
    17  Washington State 26-7         12
    18  Oral Roberts     29-10        NR
    19  Florida State    25-9         NR
    20  Washington       20-10        16
    
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