No. 3 Volleyball nabs six AVCA All-Region awards
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- The third-ranked Texas Volleyball team placed a total of six players on the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Central Region team and claimed a total of eight awards. Outside hitter Juliann Faucette garnered Region Freshman of the Year honors, while head coach Jerritt Elliott earned the second regional Coach of the Year honor of his Texas career.
Elliott led his team to a 26-3 overall record, a 19-1 Big 12 record and a tie for first place in the conference with Nebraska in 2007. The third-ranked Longhorns grabbed a share of the 2007 Big 12 title, its first since 1997. In seven years at Texas, Elliott has led the Longhorns into the NCAA Tournament six times, including the NCAA Gainesville Regional this week where the Longhorns will face seventh-ranked Florida. This is the third time Elliott has been named AVCA Regional Coach of the Year, as he earned the honors in 2004 in the Central Region and in 2000 in the Pacific Region while coaching Southern California.
Faucette, sophomore outside hitter Destinee Hooker, senior setter Michelle Moriarty and junior middle blocker Lauren Paolini garnered first-team honors, while sophomore opposite hitter Ashley Engle and senior middle blocker Brandy Magee earned places on the second team. All six players advance to the ballot for AVCA All-America honors, which will be announced next week in conjunction with the 2007 NCAA Volleyball Championships in Sacramento, Calif.
Faucette, a San Diego, Calif., native has already claimed Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors and first-team All-Big 12 accolades after leading the Longhorns with a team-best 418 kills. She currently ranks third on the team with 235 digs, 2.55 digs per-game and 20 service aces.
Hooker, a San Antonio, Texas, native added her second all-region honor of her career to her first-team All-Big 12 accolades that she earned after leading Texas' offense in 2007. Hooker ranks second in the Big 12 in kills (4.58) and points (5.55) per-game and ranks 10th in the league with a .345 hitting percentage.
Moriarty, a Houston, Texas, native earned all-region honors for the fourth straight season, after earning honorable mention honors in 2004 and 2006 and being named to the first team in 2005. The senior ranks fifth in the NCAA with 14.16 assists per-game and ranks first among Big 12 schools. Moriarty ranks second on the squad with 244 digs and 2.65 digs per-game.
Paolini, an Ann Arbor, Mich., native earned her first all-region honor after claiming first-team All-Big 12 honors earlier this season. The junior ranks eighth nationally with a .414 hitting percentage and paces the UT squad with a team-high 120 total blocks.
Engle, a Yorba Linda, Calif., native nabs her second all-region honor after earning first-team accolades in 2006. The sophomore missed seven matches early in the season with an injury, but rebounded to hit .324 and average 3.04 kills, 2.33 digs and 1.00 blocks per-game for the year.
Magee, a native of Mission Viejo, Calif., grabbed her second all-region award after nabbing first-team honors in 2005. The senior ranks fifth in the NCAA and second in the Big 12 with a .429 hitting percentage and leads Texas with a team-best 1.30 blocks per-game.
The Longhorns return to action Friday, Dec. 7 when they take on No. 7 Florida in the NCAA Gainesville Regional at Gregory Gym. First serve is set for 6 p.m. Central. The winners of the two matches will meet Saturday at 3:30 p.m. (Central) to determine which team advances to the NCAA Championship.
Region Freshman of the Year: Juliann Faucette, Texas, OH