NU Volleyball Picked to Win Big 12

Nebraska is the preseason favorite to win the Big 12 title for the 10th consecutive season in a vote of the league head coaches, the conference office announced Wednesday. The Huskers received eight of the 11 possible first-place votes and 98 points overall, while coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.

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

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


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.

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