Volleyball hosts media day
Aug. 20, 2008
AUSTIN, Texas -- After an eventful offseason that saw three players train with the U.S. National Team and saw the other Longhorns win the Collegiate Beach National Championship, the bright lights of the Austin media are squarely focused on the 2008 Texas Volleyball team. The third-ranked Longhorns are the Big 12 preseason favorite, and on Wednesday the media were anxious to get up close and personal with what promises to be another stellar Jerritt Elliott squad.
Texas Volleyball's annual media day provided the opportunity for the No. 2 recruiting class in the nation to get to know the media, while veterans of the defending Big 12 Champions got reacquainted with the cameras and reporters. After quick introductions, news crews dispersed and chatted with the players and coaches, However, junior Ashley Engle turned the tables on her teammates, grabbed a microphone of her own and pressed her fellow Longhorns with some fun questions.
Many members of the media had their focus on favorites like All-Americans Engle and Juliann Faucette, while others explored just what this highly-touted freshman class will contribute to the team.
"We've had some great progress this summer with our veterans," Elliott said. "Jen Doris has been playing really well in the middle and we have some great freshmen that are going to be able to add to this team, especially at the DS and setter positions."
With last year's exciting season ending in a Big 12 title and a second straight appearance in the NCAA Regional finals, expectations for this season are high.
"I think there is always pressure to succeed, but the most important thing is how you handle the pressure," Engle said. "I think coming into the gym everyday and working your hardest is the best way to handle it, especially when facing all of the preseason rankings and attention."
Head coach Jerritt Elliott agreed with the sense of excitement in the gym and commented on what he's most happy to see out of his team.
"It's going to be a lot of fun to be able to watch all of these freshmen contribute along with seeing what the veterans have improved on from last season," Elliott added
The No. 3 Texas Volleyball team will get the season underway on Friday, Aug. 29 at the Runza/AVCA Showcase in Omaha, Neb. where it will meet No. 4 USC.
The Longhorns host their annual Block Party (Fan Fest) Saturday, Aug. 23 at Gregory Gymnasium. Texas will host a kid's clinic at 3:30 p.m., followed by an exhibition match and meal with the team.