Women's volleyball NCAA regional finals 11

Brigham Young University middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg (24) hits the ball past University of Texas outside hitter Micaya White (1) and middle blocker Brionne Butler (10) for a point during an NCAA regional final match between the Brigham Young University Cougars and the University of Texas Longhorns held Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, at Smith Fieldhouse in Provo. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

SAN BRUNO, Calif. – Three Cougars were named preseason all-conference and BYU women’s volleyball was picked to finish second by the West Coast Conference’s head coaches on Wednesday.

BYU earned 72 points and one first place vote while being tabbed to finish second behind last season’s WCC champions, San Diego. The Toreros finished atop the poll with 78 points while Pepperdine rounded out the top three with 69 points.

The Cougars’ sophomore setter Whitney Bower, senior outside hitter Taylen Ballard-Nixon and senior middle blocker Kennedy Eschenberg were each voted preseason All-WCC. Bower and Eschenberg both earned All-WCC First Team honors last season.

Bower was one of two setters voted to the team, Eschenberg was one of two middle blockers selected and Ballard-Nixon was one of eight outside hitters named. BYU tied Pepperdine for the second-most players on the team, behind San Diego’s four players.

BYU begins its 2020-21 regular season on the road against Portland on Tuesday, Jan. 26, at 12 p.m. PST. The Cougars will take on the Pilots on consecutive afternoons, with the second match scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 27, at 12 p.m. PST.

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

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