Volleyball ranked No. 4 in CSTV/AVCA Top 25 Preseason poll
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Coming off of a 24-7 regular-season finish in 2006, the Texas Volleyball team enters the 2007 campaign ranked No. 4 in the CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Preseason Top 25 volleyball rankings. Head coach Jerritt Elliott's Longhorns will face four of the preseason Top 25 squads a total of eight times this season.
Texas joins three other Big 12 Conference teams -- Nebraska, Missouri and Oklahoma -- in the preseason CSTV/AVCA Top 25 poll.
Nebraska, the 2006 NCAA Champion, comes in at the top spot in the CSTV/AVCA poll. Stanford ranks second after finishing as NCAA runner up in 2006, while Penn State ranks third. The Longhorns hold the fourth position and UCLA, USC, Florida, Washington, Minnesota and Hawaii round out the top ten.
Nebraska and Texas are picked to finish one-two, respectively, in the 2007 Big 12 Preseason Coaches Poll, while Missouri is picked to finish third and Oklahoma is picked ninth.
Texas will face four of the AVCA Top 25 teams eight times. UT opens the 2007 season on Friday, Aug. 24 with a pair of matches at No. 3 Penn State. The Longhorns then kick off Big 12 Conference play on Sept. 12 at No. 1 Nebraska before returning home to host No. 20 Missouri. Texas travels to No. 22 Oklahoma on Oct. 17 before repeating its conference slate against the Cornhuskers, Tigers and Sooners.
Texas returns several players with starting experience, including All-Americans 6-2 senior middle blocker Brandy Magee (Mission Viejo, Calif.), 6-3 sophomore opposite hitter Ashley Engle (Yorba Linda, Calif.), 5-10 senior setter Michelle Moriarty (Houston, Texas) and sophomore outside hitter Destinee Hooker (San Antonio, Texas). Middle blocker Lauren Paolini (Ann Arbor, Mich.), a 6-5 junior, returns along with libero Alyson Jennings (Costa Mesa, Calif.) and defensive specialist Heather Kisner (Sugar Land, Texas).
Elliott also welcomes five freshmen (6-2 outside hitter Juliann Faucette, 6-5 utility player Jennifer Doris, 6-2 utility player Elizabeth Graham and 5-9 defensive specialists Chelsey Klein and Alexandra Lewis.) This freshman class has been named the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation, with Faucette claiming Big 12 Preseason Rookie of the Year accolades.