AUSTIN, Texas -- The Texas volleyball team will get its first taste of what it hopes to be a successful 2006 season this spring when UT participates in three exhibition tournaments around the country.
With 11 returning letterwinners from a team that was ranked in the top 10 last year, and one of its incoming freshmen - 6-5 outside hitter Destiny Hooker - already on campus training with the team, the 2006 Texas volleyball squad looks to be one of the strongest Longhorn squads in recent years.
After a 24-5 season that saw the team earn a top-10 ranking for the second year in a row, and three players garner All-America accolades, the Longhorns have a lot to look forward to in 2006. All six starters and the team's libero return, and the Horns add to that two top-10 recruits who signed National Letters of Intent during November's early signing period.
Texas will spend three weekends of its six-week spring team training session facing top national competition.
UT opens its spring season on Saturday, March 25, when the team hosts SMU, Houston, Rice and UTSA in a round-robin tournament at Gregory Gym. Play will begin at 9 a.m. and end at approximately 3 p.m. Admission is free for all fans.
Texas will take two weekends off before traveling to Houston on April 14-15 for matches at the Texas Tornadoes Training Facility. Among the teams Texas will face are New Mexico State and a fellow national power Florida.
The Longhorns will close out its spring season in Chicago on April 22 at a 23-team tournament at the Great Lake Center in Aurora, Ill. Teams scheduled to compete in the tournament include Arizona, Iowa, Michigan Sate, Purdue, Wisconsin, Northwestern, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Minnesota. Teams will be broken out into separate pools for championship competition.
Complete schedules for each of the three tournaments will be posted at TexasSports.com as they approach.
Texas Volleyball Spring Schedule
Texas Invitational (Gregory Gym)
SMU, Houston, Rice and UT-San Antonio
Houston Tournament (Houston, Texas)
New Mexico State, Florida
Chicago Tournament (Great Lakes Center, Aurora, Ill.)
Arizona, Iowa, Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin, Villanova, North Carolina, Cincinnati, Dayton, Indiana, Illinois-Chicago, Kent State, Ohio, Loyola-Chicago, Marshall, Marquette, South Carolina, Valparaiso, Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Minnesota