Huskers tabbed second in preseason poll

IRVING, Texas - The Nebraska volleyball team was tabbed for second in the Big 12coache's preseason volleyball poll released Thursday afternoon. The Huskers, who went 31-3 and shared the Big 12 title with Texas last year, received 93 points, including three first-place votes by the league coaches.

Texas, which joined Nebraska in the 2008 NCAA Semifinals, received eight of the 11 first-place votes, and 98 total points, as coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team. Iowa State, Texas A&M and Baylor round out the top five. The Cyclones were the third conference team to reach the Elite Eight in 2008.

In addition, three Huskers - Sydney Anderson, Kori Cooper and Tara Mueller - were all preseason All-Big 12 selections. All three are returning first-team all-conference picks from a year ago. Anderson and Cooper were unanimous selections by the league's coaches.

Anderson averaged 11.6 assists, 2.05 digs and 0.29 service aces per set last season, ranking among Big 12 leaders in assists and aces in her first season as a Husker. A former U.S. National team member, she totaled eight double-doubles and helped the Huskers hit .300 or better 15 times. Anderson played her best in NU's biggest matches, dishing out 50 or more assists three times in five NCAA matches.

Cooper enjoyed an outstanding junior season before undergoing knee surgery, earning honorable-mention AVCA All-America honors. She averaged 2.09 kills and 0.88 blocks per set, while ranking 10th nationally with a .396 hitting percentage. Cooper reached double figures in kills on four occasions, including a season-high 12 kills at Iowa State, and hit .400 or better in 14 matches.

Mueller earned second-team AVCA All-America honors after averaging 3.51 kills and 2.37 digs per set in 2008. She ranked among conference leaders in both kills and points and totaled seven double-doubles. Mueller earned MVP honors in the Seattle Regional, as she set career bests in kills (24) and digs (16) in the regional final at Washington.

The Huskers will hit the court for the first time on Aug. 22, when they host the Red/White Scrimmage at the NU Coliseum. Tickets are on sale now for that match at or by calling 800-8-BIGRED. Big 12 teams open the season the weekend of Aug. 28, while conference action is slated to begin on Sept. 16.

Rank       Team (First-place Votes)            Points            
   1.          Texas (8)                                           98
   2.          Nebraska (3)                                     93
   3.          Iowa State                                         81
   4.          Texas A&M                                       68
   5.          Baylor                                                63
   6.          Kansas State                                     57
   7.          Oklahoma                                         46
   8.          Missouri                                            38
   9.          Kansas                                               30
10.          Colorado                                           20
11.          Texas Tech                                        11

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: Destinee Hooker, Texas, OH, Sr., 6-4, San Antonio, Texas/Southwest
Preseason Newcomer of the Year:  Paola Ampudia, Missouri, OH/RS, Jr., 6-1, Cali, Colombia/Miami Dade College
Preseason Freshman of the Year: Bailey Webster, Texas, OH, 6-3, Baltimore, Md./St. Paul's School For Girls             

Name, School                                       Pos.             Cl.
Ht.          Hometown/Previous School
Taylor Barnes, Baylor                             S                Sr.
5-11         Arlington, Texas/Martin
Anna Breyfogle, Baylor                        MB              Sr.
6-1          Buda, Texas/Hays
Victoria Henson, Iowa State^              OH              Jr.
5-11         Leavenworth, Kan./Leavenworth
Kaylee Manns, Iowa State                     S                Sr.
5-10         Topeka, Kan./Washburn Rural
Ashley Mass, Iowa State                     DS/L            Jr.
5-8          Muskego, Wis./Muskego
Kelsey Chipman, Kansas State            MB              Sr.
6-1          Topeka, Kan./Washburn Rural 
Sydney Anderson, Nebraska^              S                Jr.
6-0          Salt Lake City, Utah/Utah
Kori Cooper, Nebraska^                      MB              Sr.
6-2          Amarillo, Texas/Amarillo
Tara Mueller, Nebraska                       OH              Jr.
6-0          Scottsdale,  Ariz./Desert Mountain 
Ashley Engle, Texas^                           S/RS             Sr.
6-3          Yorba Linda, Calif./Esperanza
Juliann Faucette, Texas^                      OH              Jr.
6-2          San Diego, Calif./Westview
Destinee Hooker, Texas                       OH              Sr.
6-4          San Antonio, Texas/Southwest
Sarah Ammerman, Texas A&M^        OH              Sr.          
6-2          Parker, Colo./Chaparral
Mary Batis, Texas A&M                        OH              Sr.
6-0          San Antonio, Texas/Clark
 ^ - Unanimous Selection 

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