2007 Volleyball outlook: Outside hitters
There is always strength in numbers, and for the 2007 UT volleyball team, the team's strength and depth is indicated at all positions, including outside hitter. Texas enters 2007 with a talented group of outside hitters that is comprised of seasoned veterans and highly-touted youngsters. The Longhorns boast five players with the ability to play outside hitter -- four veterans and three freshmen -- providing Texas with an arsenal of options on the outside.
Ashley Engle (#10, 6-3, So.-1L)
Destinee Hooker (#21, 6-4, So.-1L)
Juliann Faucette (#1, 6-2, Fr.-HS)
Elizabeth Graham (#31, 6-2, Fr.-HS)
ELLIOTT'S OUTLOOK: OUTSIDE HITTERS
Jen Christian is coming into her senior season. She had her first full spring of training with no injuries, which has been a huge asset. She concluded last season on a great note with 19 kills and hitting over .300 against Stanford. Jen brings a lot of experience and has been through the ropes in terms of playing in the top matches. She can play on the left and possibly on the right side. Jen brings a wealth of knowledge to the court, and when she gets hot, she proves to be one of the better outside hitters in the country.
Destinee Hooker had a phenomenal campaign as a freshman. As we approach another season, she is only going to continue to improve. Destinee truly has the physical capabilities to take over a match. She touched an amazing 10 feet, 10.5 inches this spring, and I'm not sure anyone else in the country can touch that at this point in time. She really has the potential star power to develop into one of the premiere left side attackers in the country.
Juliann Faucette comes to our program as the second-ranked recruit in the country and she is very deserving of that ranking. She is arguably the hardest hitter in our gym and brings a tremendous amount of experience to us for a freshman. Juliann had a very successful club year at Epic (San Diego) this past year and she has extensive international playing experience. She is very physical, hits a heavy ball and will develop into a premier primary passer for us.
Lauren Paolini has played a little bit on the left, but we foresee her being a middle blocker or possibly playing opposite if we run a 6-2. She is starting to get the confidence and strength that is typical of juniors after spending two really good years in our strength program. Lauren will have a major impact on this team, and it will be fun to see exactly what she brings to the table. If she can kick her game up a notch, it will really take our team to another level.
Jennifer Doris is a tremendously gifted freshman who has years of experience with the Junior National Team. She is very physical and can play middle, right and possibly some on the left, if needed. We foresee her as more of a middle blocker, maybe opposite, but again, she is a very hard worker who takes pride in her blocking.
Elizabeth Graham comes in with an amazing amount of athletic ability. She is quick off the ground, has a nice arm, is a very hard worker and has a great feel for blocking. We look forward to watching her grow in our system."