Texas Ebony Nwanebu (2) hits a kill past Texas Tech's Toni McDougald (16) and Katy Keenan (12) during a Big 12 Conference match at Gregory Gym Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. (Stephen Spillman / for American-Statesman)

Volleyball

Big 12’s preseason volleyball team features a Texas quartet

Posted August 2nd, 2017

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In local news that will shock nobody, some of the Big 12’s best volleyball players play at Texas.

On Wednesday, Texas sophomore Micaya White joined outside hitters Ebony Nwanebu and Chiaka Ogbogu on the Big 12’s preseason volleyball team. Lexi Sun also earned the preseason label of the Big 12’s top freshman. Nwanebu, Sun and White are outside hitters at UT while Ogbogu is a middle blocker.

Kansas senior Kelsie Payne, who is an Austin native, was the conference’s preseason player of the year.

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The naming of Texas’ honorees was more of a formality than a surprise. Nwanebu, Ogbogu and White have all earned AVCA All-American accolades during their time in Austin. Sun was recently named the Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year during her senior year at Santa Fe Christian in Solana Beach, Calif.

Texas’ Chiaka Ogbogu spikes the ball against UCLA during a regional semifinal of the NCAA Volleyball Tournament on Dec. 11, 2015. RICARDO B. BRAZZIELL/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

White and Nwanebu led Texas this past season with their 4.03 and 3.74 kills per set, and Nwanebu’s .379 hitting percentage topped the Big 12. Ogbogu sat out the 2016 season for academic reasons, but the three-time All-American has averaged 2.3 kills and 1.2 blocks per set in her collegiate career.

In 2016, Texas went 27-5 and reached the NCAA championship game in its fifth straight trip to the Final Four. UT opens this season on Aug. 25 with a match at Florida.

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