Three players earn AVCA All-America honors
OMAHA, Neb. -- Three Texas players earned 2006 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-America honors, marking the second time in as many seasons that UT placed three on the All-America teams. Freshman opposite hitter Ashley Engle earned a place on the second team, junior setter Michelle Moriarty garnered third-team honors and freshman outside hitter Destinee Hooker was named honorable mention All-America.
The trio was among 101 student-athletes (12 first team, 12 second team, 12 third team and 65 honorable mention) honored by the AVCA on Wednesday in conjunction with the NCAA Championship at the Qwest Center Omaha.
Moriarty, an honorable mention All-Big 12 and AVCA All-Central Region honoree, led the Longhorns and the Big 12 Conference with a 13.68 assists per-game average and is currently ranked fourth nationally in the category as the sport enters the NCAA Championship this weekend. During her junior campaign, Moriarty became Texas' career leader in assists, registering 1,587 assists on the year and moving her career total to 4,358. The Houston, Texas, native also recorded a team-high 34 service aces and added 2.66 digs per-game, a mark good for fourth-best on the squad.
Hooker, a First Team All-Big 12 and First Team AVCA All-Central Region selection, helped highlight the Horns' high-powered attack in 2006, hammering out 373 kills and tallying 3.49 kills per-game during her inaugural campaign. The two-time Big 12 Conference Player of the Week hit at a .276 clip on the season, tallied 4.12 points per-game and tied for third best on the Texas squad with 15 service aces.
This year's three selections marked the fourth year in a row Texas placed at least two players on the All-America squads. Leticia Armstrong, Brandy Magee and Michelle Moriarty each earned All-America honors in 2005, and with Magee returning from a knee injury in 2007, the Longhorns will boast four returning All-Americans.
Texas (24-7) ended its season in the NCAA Regional Final with 3-1 loss to No. 2 Stanford, marking the Horns first appearance in the regional final since 1998. UT is ranked No. 8 in the latest CSTV/AVCA Coaches Poll after capturing a 20-win season for the third time in as many years.