Texas players come together before an NCAA volleyball game against Stephen F. Austin in Austin on Nov. 29, 2018. [NICK WAGNER/AMERICAN-STATESMAN]

BEVO BEAT Volleyball

Texas to open the 2019 volleyball season as the Big 12’s frontrunner

Posted June 27th, 2019

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Once again, UT’s volleyball team will enter this season with a Texas-sized target on its back.

Texas has once again topped the Big 12’s preseason volleyball poll, the conference announced on Thursday. Eight of the league’s nine coaches voted for the Longhorns. Texas coach Jerritt Elliott was not allowed to select his team, so he placed Baylor atop his ballot.

Baylor was ranked second in the preseason poll. TCU, Iowa State and Kansas State rounded out the top five. Last year, Texas and Baylor were the Big 12’s only representatives in the NCAA tournament.

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This marks the ninth straight season that Texas has been the preseason pick in the Big 12. In seven of the last eight years, those predictions were  eventually validated by the Longhorns.

Texas went 23-5 during the 2018 season. The Longhorns reached the fourth round of the NCAA tournament and ended the season as the No. 5 team in the AVCA poll. Texas graduated two senior starters from last year’s team, but outside hitter Micaya White is a three-time All-American and the conference’s reigning player of the year.

On Wednesday, White was named the Big 12’s preseason player of the year. She was joined on the Big 12 preseason team by sophomores Logan Eggleston and Brionne Butler. UT’s Skylar Fields and TCU’s Audrey Nalls were billed as the top freshmen in the Big 12.

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