Volleyball preview: Burnt Orange Classic
Aug. 23, 2011
Matches 1-3: No. 4/3 TEXAS (0-0, 0-0 Big 12) vs. Pepperdine/Ole Miss/Israel National Team
Texas has been selected to finish first in the 2011 Big 12 Conference race in a vote of league head coaches ... the preseason ranking marks the third time in four seasons (2008, 2009) that the Longhorns have been picked to win the league ... UT received seven of the possible nine first-place votes, while tallying 63 points overall.
Senior middle blocker Rachael Adams and freshman middle blocker Khat Bell have been named the Big 12 Conference’s Preseason Player and Freshman of the Year for 2011 ... Adams and senior outside hitter Amber Roberson were also named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team.
The Longhorns enter 2011 after advancing to three-straight NCAA Semifinals and they retain a great deal of their firepower from 2010 ... the Horns’ returners hit a combined .312 in 2010, while the roster returns 58% of its kills and 59% of its points from a year ago.
The Longhorns own a 31-6 all-time record in season openers and a 8-2 mark under head coach Jerritt Elliott.
The Longhorn trio of sophomore Hannah Allison, freshman Haley Eckerman, freshman Madelyn Hutson led the U.S. Women’s Junior National Team to a fourth-place finish in August at the 2011 FIVB Volleyball Women’s Junior World Championships in Lima, Peru ... the U.S. team finished fourth with an overall 4-4 tournament record.
Freshman outside hitter Ashley Bannister tallied 14 points in the tournament championship match to help the U.S. Women’s National A2 Blue Team capture the Open Division gold medal at the USA Volleyball Open National Championships in June ... Bannister garnered all-tournament team honors after guiding her team to the title, while seniors Rachael Adams and Michelle Kocher helped the A2 White Team to a bronze-medal finish.
In the 2010 final NCAA statistics the Longhorns rank No. 4 nationally with their .304 team hitting percentage ... Rachael Adams ranked No. 1 nationally with her .443 hitting percentage in 2010.
Head coach Jerritt Elliott has signed the nation’s No. 1-ranked recruiting class for the 2011 academic year ... No. 2 national recruit Khat Bell (Mesquite, Texas), No. 5 national recruit Haley Eckerman (Waterloo, Iowa) and No. 13 national recruit Madelyn Hutson (Brentwood, Tenn.)