(Editor’s note: Washington State athletics release)
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — The Washington State volleyball team was slotted to finish seventh in the preseason Pac-12 coaches poll as announced by the conference office on Wednesday, Aug. 15. In addition, senior Taylor Mims picked up right where she left off her 2017 campaign, as the senior was named to the preseason all-Pac-12 team.
Defending Pac-12 champion Stanford was picked to win the conference once again by the coaches. The Conference of Champions saw nine teams earn bids to the 2017 NCAA Championships, where the Pac-12 went 8-1 in first round matchups. The Cougars earned an at-large bid and advanced to the second round for the second-straight season. Last season the Cougars finished the year 18-16 overall and seventh in the Pac-12.
The 2018 Pac-12 preseason coaches poll with point totals and first place votes are in parentheses: Stanford (11) 121, USC (1) 100, Oregon 96, UCLA 90, Colorado 89, Washington 73, Washington State 64, Utah 47, Arizona 46, Oregon State 27, Arizona State 24, California 15.
For Mims, the senior took home the preseason award after proving herself as one of the top talents in the prestigious conference last season. As a junior, she was the Cougars statistical leader, leading WSU to its second consecutive NCAA Championship Tournament second round appearance. Mims’ 4.17 kills per set and 4.75 points per set, both sixth-best in Pac-12, are 30th and 26th, respectively, in the NCAA. She had 28 kills and 79 attacks in the 3-1 win NCAA first round win over Florida State to lead all players in the 2017 NCAA tournament. In that same match Mims also had a career-high 22 digs and 31.5 points. Her 599 points in 2017 was 12th-best in the NCAA. During the Pac-12 season, Mims’ 4.38 kills per set and 4.95 points per set were both are second-best in conference. Her statistics from the 2017 season and their rankings in WSU all-time include 525 kills (3rd), 1533 attack attempts (1st), 4.17 kps (7th), 599.0 points (2nd), and 4.75 pps (4th). In WSU career rankings Mims has 899 kills (23rd), 2410 attacks (19th), 2.63 kps (26th), .120 hitting percentage (19th), 49 solo blocks (t-10th), 327 block assists (10th), 376 total blocks (t-9th), 1.10 bps (14th), and 1161.5 points (6th). In the summer of 2018 Mims won a Gold medal and was named the MVP of the Annual Global Challenge in Croatia.
The Cougars begin the season August 25 in Raleigh, NC with a match against Virginia Commonwealth. The home schedule begins two weeks later at the Cougar Challenge Tournament when WSU hosts McNeese State, Illinois State, and Stony Brook.