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BYU volleyball: Cougars ranked No. 3 nationally in AVCA preseason poll

BYU men’s volleyball was voted No. 3 in the AVCA Division I-II Men’s Preseason Poll on Wednesday.

The Cougars received 235 votes after going 26-5 during the 2013 season with a finish in the NCAA championship match. BYU received four first-place votes.

UC Irvine, which won the 2013 national championship, was voted No. 1 with 246 votes and nine first-place votes after a 25-7 record last season. UCLA received 238 votes and three first-place votes after finishing No. 4 last season with a 21-11 record.

The Cougars return senior All-American Taylor Sander, who averaged 3.94 kills per set on .333 hitting and 1.52 digs per set in 2013. He led the team with 42 service aces. He earned AVCA and Volleyball Magazine first-team All-America, as well as MPSF Player of the Year, All-MPSF First Team and All-MPSF Tournament Team.

BYU will host Winnipeg in two exhibition matches Dec. 27 and 28 at 7 p.m. MST, before the team’s season opener on the road at Loyola on Jan. 3, 2014.

For the complete poll, visit the AVCA website.

Rachel Hawks is the men's volleyball sports information director for BYU Athletic Communications.