In 2005, NU finished the season as the national runner-up to Washington, tallying a 33-2 overall record and 19-1 conference mark. The Huskers also claimed their eighth Big 12 crown (1996, 1998-02, ‘04-05). Coach John Cook earned Tachikara/America Volleyball Coaches Association Division I National Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career, in addition to being named Big 12 Coach of the Year (2001, 2005). Nebraska also returns reigning conference player of the year Sarah Pavan.
Texas was second behind NU with 93 points, including three first-place votes. The Longhorns were followed by Missouri, Kansas State and Texas A&M filling the top five spots. Colorado was sixth with Kansas, Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma and Texas Tech rounding out the poll.
Pavan headlines the individual honors as the Big 12 Preseason Player of the Year for the second straight season. Last year, the junior from Kitchener, Ontario, averaged 3.82 kills, 1.24 blocks, 1.66 digs and 0.31 aces in 35 matches. Pavan tallied four double-doubles and a triple-double of 11 kills, 11 blocks and 10 digs against Pepperdine. In conference action, the two-time All-America selection, ranked among the Big 12 leaders in points per game (4.87, fourth), kills (3.93, fifth) and hitting percentage (.365, sixth).
Pavan was one of two Huskers chosen for the preseason All-Big 12 team, as she was joined by sophomore outside hitter Jordan Larson, who averaged 2.82 kills and 2.79 digs per game in 2005, earning Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors.
Nebraska begins practice on Tuesday, Aug. 8, and will open the 2006 season against San Diego on Tuesday, August 29. First serve at the Nebraska Coliseum will be at 7 p.m.
A limited number of general admission and restricted view tickets remain for the following 2006 home matches: San Diego; St. Mary's; Middle Tennessee State; Cal Poly; Iowa State and Louisville. Tickets are available by calling 800-8-BIGRED or online at Huskers.com.
2006 Big 12 Preseason Awards and Polls
Rank Team (First-place Votes) Points
1. Nebraska (8) 98
2. Texas (3) 93
3. Missouri 79
4. Kansas State 71
5. Texas A&M 57
6. Colorado 51
7. Kansas 45
8. Iowa State 37
9. Baylor 35
10. Oklahoma 27
11. Texas Tech 12
Note: Ten points were awarded for first-place votes, nine for second, etc. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.
Preseason Player of the Year: Sarah Pavan, Nebraska, OPP, Jr., 6-5, Kitchener, Ontario
Preseason Newcomer of the Year: Natalie Uhart, Kansas, MB, Sr., 6-2, Lansing, Kan./Long Beach State
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Ashley Engle, Texas, S/OPP, Fr., 6-3, Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza
PRESEASON ALL-BIG 12 TEAM
Name, School Pos. Yr. Ht. Hometown/School
Desiree Guilliard-Young, Baylor MB Sr. 6-5 Berkeley, Calif./Berkeley
Ashley Nu'u Colorado S Sr. 5-10 Aurora, Colo./Smoky Hill
Erin Boeve, Iowa State MB Jr. 6-2 Steen, Minn./Hills-Beaver Creek
Emily Brown, Kansas OPP/S Jr. 6-2 Baldwin, Kan./Baldwin
Jessica Vander Kooi, Missouri OH Sr. 6-2 Hinton, Iowa/Hinton
Jordan Larson, Nebraska OH So. 6-2 Hooper, Neb./Logan View
Sarah Pavan, Nebraska OH Jr. 6-5 Kitchener, Ontario/Forest Hts Collegiate Institute
Eliane Santos, Oklahoma MB Sr. 6-2 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil/College of Southern Idaho
Dariam Acevedo, Texas OH Sr. 5-10 Trujillo Alto, Puerto Rico/Oregon
Leticia Armstrong, Texas MB Jr. 6-1 Elkhart, Ind./Elkhart Central
Brandy Magee, Texas MB Sr. 6-2 Mission Viejo, Calif./Capistrano Valley
Michelle Moriarty, Texas S Jr. 5-10 Houston, Texas/Stratford
Christi Hahn, Texas A&M MB/OH Sr. 6-1 Leander, Texas/Leander
Note: Twelve players are named to the preseason all-conference team -- a tie occurred in voting to result in 13 members this season.