Sports

Stanford women net No. 1 volleyball preseason ranking

 
Stanford junior Kathryn Plummer is the reigning National Player of the Year. Photo by Mike Rasay/isiphotos.com.

The Stanford women's volleyball team begins the season atop the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason poll. It is the 70th No. 1 ranking all-time for the program.

Stanford has been ranked in every AVCA preseason poll since its inception in 1982, and is No. 1 to start the season for the first time since 2002. The Cardinal, which received 43 first-place votes, returns five starters plus its libero from last year's NCAA semifinal team. Stanford is one of two teams, with Penn State, to appear in all 37 NCAA women's volleyball Tournaments.


Kathryn Plummer/Stanford Athletics

Tami Alade/Stanford Athletics
Stanford returns 14 letterwinners to its roster from the 2017 team, including AVCA National Player of the Year Kathryn Plummer.

Joining Plummer on the AVCA All-America first team a year ago were setter Jenna Gray and libero Morgan Hentz. Junior Audriana Fitzmorris was a second team All-American in 2017, while senior Tami Alade landed on the honorable mention list.

Defending NCAA champion Nebraska was tabbed No. 2 in the poll, collecting 20 first-place votes. Rounding out the top 5 were Texas, Minnesota and Kentucky.

Overall seven Pac-12 teams are ranked in the top 25. Joining Stanford in the top 10 is No. 10 USC, while UCLA (11), Colorado (15), Washington (17), Oregon (18) and Utah (19) all sit in the top 20.

The Cardinal is scheduled to play 17 regular-season matches against top-25 teams. No. 8 BYU is the first ranked team on the slate as Stanford will make the trip to Provo on Aug. 31. The Cardinal will also play host to No. 6 Penn State (Sept. 7), No. 4 Minnesota (Sept. 9) and No. 3 Texas (Sept. 11) over a five-day span.

Plummer enters enters her junior season with 970 kills (3.99 per set), 198 blocks (0.81) and 61 service aces. Ogonna Nnamani holds the all-time for kills with 2,450, followed by Alix Klineman with 2,008. Logan Tom is third with 1,939 kills in spite of missing the first half of the 2000 season while competing for the United States Olympics team.

Plummer recorded 539 kills last season, the eighth-best season in Stanford history. Her 41 aces tied her with Barbara Fontana and Kim Oden for the 10th-best season.

Plummer's eight service aces against UCLA last season tied her with Teresa Smith and Jen Hucke for third-most in a match.

— Palo Alto Online Sports/Stanford Athletics

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