IRVINE, Calif. – The Chaminade University women’s volleyball team was selected Wednesday to repeat as Pacific West Conference champions in vote taken by conference coaches.

They are also ranked No. 25 in the AVCA Division II Preseason Top 25 Coaches Poll that was also released Wednesday.

The Silverswords were a heavy favorite to win the PacWest again by receiving eight of the 11 first-place votes for a total of 118 points.

Azusa Pacific is picked second with 100 points followed by Biola with 94 and Concordia University Irvine with 92. All three teams received one first-place vote.

Alexia Byrnes (Chicago/Youngstown State/Saint Francis HS) was chosen as the Preseason PacWest Player and Setter of the Year. Point Loma’s Courtney Dyer was selected as the Preseason Libero of the Year.

Byrnes, Brooklen Pe’a (Woods Cross, Utah/Youngstown State/Bountiful HS) and Greta Corti (Varese, Italy/Univ. of San Francisco/Alessandro Manzoni Liceo HS) were picked by the coaches on the all-preseason team.

In the AVCA poll, Chaminade received 123 points in voting conducted by members of the AVCA. Two of the Silverswords’ opponents in the upcoming Magic Island Hawai’i Classic next weekend are also ranked in the poll – West Region power Cal State San Bernardino at No. 7 and Lewis University at 21.

Defending D-II national champion Tampa was chosen as the preseason No. 1 followed by Washburn University. Defending West Region champion Western Washington is third with MSU Denver and West Florida rounding out the top five.

The ‘Swords open the season on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Hawai’i-Alaska Challenge against the University of Alaska. The Challenge concludes Saturday against Alaska Anchorage at 3 p.m., followed by a rematch against the Nanooks at 7:30 p.m. Alaska Anchorage is ranked just outside the top 25 at 29th.


ALL-PACWEST PRESEASON:
Player of the Year – Alexia Byrnes, Chaminade
Setter of the Year – Alexia Byrnes, Chaminade
Libero of the Year – Courtney Dyer, Point Loma

Preseason Team
Corinne Acosta, Fresno Pacific
Madison Beebe, Biola
Alexia Byrnes, Chaminade
Greta Corti, Chaminade
Courtney Dyer, Point Loma
Anna Jorgenson, Azusa Pacific
Brooklen Pe’a, Chaminade