TUCSON, Ariz. – In its second year as a NCAA recognized sport, Arizona Beach Volleyball has been ranked sixth in the preseason poll. This is not UA's first time holding a spot in the top-10, as they were ranked No. 6 their entire 2015-2016 campaign.
The Wildcats are coming off a strong (20-7) season in 2016 in which the team ended the season ranked sixth. UA is led by Madison and McKenna Witt, who fulfilled a (26-4) record and was a part of making history participating in the NCAA Championships.
USC, who claimed the national title at the 2016 NCAA Championships, is ranked first to begin the 2017 season. Florida State, UCLA. Pepperdine, and Hawaii follow the Trojans, which round out the top five.
Four of Arizona's opponents, Long Beach State, LSU, Grand Canyon, and California are featured in the top 20 at Nos. 7, 10, 12, and 14, respectively. Pac-12 foes USC (1), UCLA (3), Stanford (13), and California (14) are also in the poll while ASU and Washington are also receiving votes.
Coming off a successful (20-7) season, Arizona has a lot more talent to premiere as the team debut's five newcomers Natalie Anselmo, Brooke Burling, Caroline Cordes, Olivia Hallaran and Jessica Manley.
Arizona will officially open its 2017 season by hosting the Arizona Invitational, where they will compete against Jacksonville on March 3. Fans can get their first chance to see the 2017 Cats on Friday, Feb. 24 for the Red-Blue Exhibition.