BYU women's volleyball sweeps Santa Clara

BYU outside hitter McKenna Miller jumps up to spike the ball during a game against Santa Clara on Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017, at the Smith Fieldhouse. 

BYU women's volleyball is ranked No. 9 in the nation in the preseason AVCA Coaches Poll released Tuesday.

The Cougars return four All-Americans in 2019, including seniors McKenna Miller and Mary Lake, junior Kennedy Eschenberg and sophomore Heather Gneiting. Five additional letterwinners also return along with eight newcomers.

BYU has been ranked in the AVCA Top 25 for 91-consecutive weeks dating back to Oct. 7, 2013, and in the top 10 for 29-straight weeks since Sept. 18, 2017. Under head coach Heather Olmstead, the Cougars have never been ranked lower than No. 16 nationally.

Last season, BYU was ranked No. 1 in the nation for 11-straight weeks before finishing No. 4 overall after advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament and posting a 31-2 record.

BYU has been ranked in the preseason top 25 each year since 2013 and 30 times since 1982, including 15 appearances in the top 10.

Four BYU opponents are listed in the poll, including No. 1 Stanford (Sept. 21, Stanford), No. 4 Texas (Sept. 13, Wichita), No. 16 Marquette (Aug. 31, Provo) and No. 21 San Diego (Oct. 18 & Nov. 15, Provo & San Diego).

Follow Darnell Dickson on Twitter @darnellwrites or e-mail him at ddickson@heraldextra.com.

Darnell Dickson, who has been covering sports in Utah since 1989 (with a detour to Nebraska for three years somewhere in there), is currently the BYU football columnist and BYU men’s basketball beat writer.

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