Volleyball preview: Texas A&M
MATCH #21: No. 8 TEXAS (17-5, 12-3 Big 12) vs. Texas A&M (11-12, 4-11 Big 12)
· Texas remained at No. 8 in the latest CSTV/AVCA poll, released Monday, Nov. 6 ... UT has been ranked in the Top 10 of the poll in 9-of-10 weeks this season ... The Longhorns began the 2006 campaign ranked 8th in the preseason poll, marking the team's highest preseason ranking since 1998 (9) ... Texas earned its highest ranking in the poll Sept. 11 when it was voted No. 5, staying there for two weeks.
· Freshman outside hitter Ashley Engle was named Big 12 Conference Player of the Week, Nov. 6 after posting a 5.00 kills per game average and 4.29 digs per game mark in the Horns' wins over Kansas and Baylor last week ... The award is the first of Engle's career and marks the third consecutive week a Texas player has been named conference player of the week ... Against Baylor, Engle posted 27 kills on 48 attempts to lead Texas to a 3-1 comeback victory ... In the match she hit at a .396 clip and totaled 17 digs ... In the Horns' win over Kansas, Engle registered eight kills, recorded a team-high 13 digs, posted five total blocks and tallied two service aces ... For the week, she connected for 35 kills on 72 swings, while totaling 30 digs, six total blocks, three service aces and three assists.
· Freshman outside hitter Ashley Engle has recorded a kill/dig double-double in nine of her last 11 matches, dating back to Texas' loss at Oklahoma (Sept. 27) ... On the year Engle has totaled 12 double-doubles ... Senior outside hitter Dariam Acevedo has tallied eight kill/dig double-doubles on the season, while junior setter Michelle Moriarty has 14 assist/dig double-doubles on the year, including eight in her last 11 contests.
· The Big 12 Conference named Destinee Hooker its co-player of the week Oct. 30 for the second straight week ... Hooker led UT to a pair of Big 12 road victories for the week, posting 15 kills on .312 hitting in the Horns' 3-1 win over Texas Tech and 14 kills on .520 hitting to drop Colorado, 3-0 ... The previous week (Oct. 23) Hooker was named POW, after totaling 50 kills against No. 1 Nebraska and No. 23 Oklahoma.
· Texas has a tough road through the Big 12 in its next five matches, as the Horns take on the fourth-toughest schedule of all Big 12 teams during that stretch ... UT's next five opponents have a combined .507 winning percentage in league play ... Texas A&M has the toughest calendar of opponents at .667, while Iowa State is second with its opponents combining for a .625 winning percentage ... Colorado ranks third (.577), Kansas ties Texas for fourth (.507), Kansas State weighs in at sixth (.472), Missouri ranks seventh (.466), Oklahoma ranks eighth (.438), Baylor ranks ninth (.425) and Texas Tech ranks 10th (.403), while Nebraska ranks 11th (.397).
· Several Longhorns blanket the most recent release of the Big 12 Conference's statistical leaders ... Junior setter Michelle Moriarty ranks atop the league in assists with 13.87 assists per game, and 13.98 assists/pg in conference matches ... The Longhorns rank second in the Big 12 with a .259 attack mark, while ranking second with a 16.74 kills per game average ... Sophomore Lauren Paolini ranks ninth in the Big 12 in hitting percentage, with a .317 attack mark against conference foes, while Ashley Engle ranks sixth in kills per-game average (4.19) and points per game average (4.81) in conference play.