Volleyball ranks atop Big 12 Preseason Poll; Horns garner five individual honors
Aug. 13, 2009
IRVING, Texas – The Texas Volleyball team has been selected as the preseason favorite to win the 2009 Big 12 title in a vote of the league’s head coaches. After earning a share of the Big 12 title in 2007 and 2008, the Longhorns received eight of the possible 11 first-place votes and tallied 98 points overall. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.
The Horns also added five preseason individual honors, including a preseason player of the year nod for senior outside hitter Destinee Hooker. Senior opposite hitter Ashley Engle, junior outside hitter Juliann Faucette and Hooker all were named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team, with Engle and Faucette both earning unanimous selections. Freshman outside hitter Bailey Webster was tabbed as the preseason freshman of the year, marking the fourth-straight year UT has earned the honor (Engle, 2006; Faucette, 2007, Rachael Adams, 2008).
In 2008, Texas made its first NCAA Semifinals appearance since 1995 after compiling a 29-4 record. The Horns claimed a share of the conference crown with Nebraska after both teams concluded league play with an 18-2 mark. Texas returns nine letterwinners and six starters from last season’s squad, while adding the nation’s No. 5 recruiting class. Texas was selected first in the preseason poll for the second year in a row and third time in league history (1996, 2008).
Nebraska was ranked second behind UT with 93 points and three first-place votes. Iowa State, Texas A&M and Baylor rounded out the top five, while Kansas State was sixth and Oklahoma held the No. 7 spot. Missouri and Kansas were ranked eighth and ninth, respectively. Colorado and Texas Tech filled the final two spots.
In addition to UT’s two individual honors, the league coaches chose Missouri’s Paola Ampudia as the league’s preseason newcomer of the year.
Texas opens its 2009 calendar on Saturday, Aug. 29 at Long Beach State and kicks off its Big 12 season on Wednesday, Sept. 16 when it hosts Baylor.
A new four-match mini plan will be offered this year for only $20. The mini plan includes tickets to Iowa State, Texas A&M, Colorado and Kansas. To order a mini plan, call the UT Athletics Events, Sales and Services office at 512-232-3865 or visit TexasBoxOffice.com.
Single match tickets will go on sale Monday, Aug. 17 at 9:00am.