Volleyball preview: New Mexico State Tournament
Sept. 3, 2008
MATCH #3-4: No. 4 TEXAS (1-1, 0-0 Big 12) vs. Utah (2-0) / New Mexico State (1-2)
• Juniors Destinee Hooker and Heather Kisner claimed the season’s first Big 12 Player of the Week and Defensive Player of the Week awards, after Texas’ season-opening trip to the AVCA Showcase ... Hooker hammered out 31 kills, 3.88 kills per-set and hit at a .333 clip against USC and Stanford, while Kisner was a standout in her first collegiate matches as the Horns’ starting libero ... Kisner recorded 40 kills to the tune of 5.00 digs per-set in Texas’ two top-five matchups.
• Texas avenged its NCAA Regional final loss from a year ago, sweeping then-No. 4 USC in its season opener at the Runza AVCA Showcase ... the Longhorns’ 27-25, 25-15, 30-28 victory was paced by a 13-kill, .333 hitting performance by sophomore outside hitter Juliann Faucette ... after trailing two sets to none in the early going, UT battled back to force a fifth and deciding set, but then-No. 2 Stanford was too much in the final set, knocking off the Longhorns, 3-2 (25-17, 25-19, 25-27, 20-25, 15-10) in UT’s second match of the showcase ... freshman setter Michelle Kocher recorded her first collegiate assist/dig double-double with her 45 assist, 11 dig performance against Stanford, while junior outside hitter Destinee Hooker registered 24 kills and 10 digs against the Cardinal.
• Juniors Destinee Hooker and Ashley Engle were named to the AVCA Showcase All-Tournament team in Omaha, Neb. after leading the Horns in a sweep of then-No. 4 USC and a tightly-contested match with then-No. 2 Stanford.
• The 2007 Big 12 co-champion Longhorns were chosen as the preseason favorite to win the conference title this season in a vote of the league’s head coaches ... the Longhorns received 10 of the possible 11 first-place votes while tallying 100 points overall ... coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams ... Texas was selected first in the Big 12 preseason poll for the second time in league history (1996).
• Texas placed four players on the Preseason All-Big 12 team, while sophomore outside hitter Juliann Faucette earned Preseason Co-Player of the Year and freshman middle blocker Rachael Adams landed Preseason Freshman of the Year honors ... UT led the conference with four preseason All-Big 12 selections -- All-Americans Ashley Engle, Faucette, Destinee Hooker and Lauren Paolini ... Faucette and Jordan Larson (Nebraska) were named preseason co-players of the year ... 2008 marks the third straight year a UT player has been selected as Preseason Big 12 Freshman of the Year.