Horns land three on All-Big 12 Volleyball team
IRVING, Texas -- Texas freshman opposite hitter Ashley Engle headlined a group of three Longhorns named to the All-Big 12 team, the league announced Monday. Engle garnered Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors in addition to being named to the first team, while freshman outside hitter Destinee Hooker added first team honors and junior setter Michelle Moriarty received honorable mention accolades.
Texas' two players on the first team equaled Oklahoma for second most on the squad, trailing Nebraska, which landed four on the first team.
Other members of the All-Big 12 First team included Colorado senior setter Ashley Nu'u, Iowa State junior middle blocker Erin Boeve, Missouri senior outside hitter Jessica Vander Kooi, Nebraska freshman setter Rachel Holloway, Nebraska sophomore outside hitter Jordan Larson, Nebraska right side hitter Sarah Pavan, Nebraska middle blocker Tracy Stalls, Oklahoma senior middle blocker Eliane Santos, Oklahoma senior outside hitter Joanna Schmitt and Texas A&M senior middle blocker Christi Hahn.
Pavan took player of the year honors for the second straight season, while Holloway was tabbed conference newcomer of the year. Oklahoma head coach Santiago Restrepo earned Big 12 Coach of the Year honors and Boeve, Larson and Santos were selected as defensive players of the year. Mizzou's Tatum Ailes and Nebraska's Dani Busboom were both selected as the league's liberos of the year.
In addition to Moriarty, Baylor senior middle blocker Desiree Guilliard-Young, Colorado junior outside hitter Amber Sutherland, Colorado sophomore middle blocker Lauren Schaefer, Missouri senior middle blocker Nicole Wilson, Oklahoma senior setter Rachel Jackson and Oklahoma senior middle blocker Laura Tomes were also voted All-Big 12 Honorable Mention.
Engle, a 6-3 freshman opposite hitter from Yorba Linda, Calif., earns a spot on the all-conference team, finishing the season ranked fourth in the league in points (4.99 p/g) and fifth in kills (4.28) in conference contests. The freshman led the Horns with a team-high 409 kills for the season, averaging 3.97 kills and 4.64 points per-game for the season. She also ranked second on the squad in digs (297), digs per-game (2.88) and service aces (28). Engle recorded 14 kill/dig double-doubles on the season and was named Big 12 Player of the Week on Nov. 6 and CVU.com National Player of the Week Nov. 14.
Hooker, a 6-4 freshman outside hitter form San Antonio, Texas, earns first-team honors after hammering out 329 kills and 3.29 kills per-game during her inaugural season. The 2006 NCAA outdoor high jump champion was named back-to-back Big 12 Player of the Week on Oct. 23 and Oct. 30. She ranked second on the Texas team in kills and kills per game, tallying double-figure kill totals in 17 matches, including the final 13 matches of the regular season.
Moriarty, a 5-10 junior setter from Houston, Texas, earns her second All-Big 12 Honorable Mention honor after earning the same honor in 2004. The honor is the third straight for Moriarty, who claimed All-Big 12 First Team honors in 2005. Moriarty ranks second in the country this season, averaging 13.82 assists per-game and is tops in the Big 12. On the year, Moriarty recorded 16 assist/dig double-doubles and has tallied 50 or more assists in 14 matches. In addition to her performance on the court, the Big 12 also recently recognized Moriarty as an Academic All-Big 12 First Team selection. She is also an ESPN The Magazine CoSIDA Second Team Academic All-District performer
Engle, Hooker and Moriarty and the rest of the No. 8 Texas volleyball team return to action on Friday, Dec. 1, when they host first and second rounds of the 2006 NCAA Tournament at Gregory Gym. UT will face Prairie View A&M in the first round on Friday at 6:30 p.m., immediately following the Alabama-Stephen F. Austin first-round match at 4:30 p.m. Winners of the first-round matches will meet on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 6:30 p.m. for the right to advance to the Austin Regional next weekend.
All-session ticket packages ($6-$18) for the NCAA Tournament matches hosted by Texas this weekend may be purchased in advance at the Bellmont Hall ticket office on the UT campus. Individual session tickets ($5-$10) will go on sale at the Gregory Gym box office on Friday, Dec. 1.