Aug. 15, 2012
IRVING, Texas — Gearing up for the start of the 2012 season, the University of Houston volleyball program was picked to finish fifth in the C-USA Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll, announced by the league office on Wednesday.
Houston is under the direction of new head coach Kaddie Platt and will look to its eight returners to guide the young and thriving squad through its final year in Conference USA.
“Preseason polls are a reflection on the previous season so I am not surprised to be slated fifth in Conference USA,” Platt said. “We have a great preseason schedule that will prepare us for conference competition. Ultimately our goals as a team are to win a championship. We will continue to train hard everyday in order to reach that goal.”
Two-time defending Conference USA champion Tulsa was again tabbed as the conference favorite, collecting 142 points and 11 of the 12 first place votes. Following Tulsa in the preseason polls were Rice in second with 119 points and UCF in third with 113 points as the Knights grab the final first place vote.
UAB is predicted to finish fourth with 103 points. Behind Houston are SMU, Memphis, and UTEP, selected to finish No. 6 through No. 8, while Tulane, Southern Miss, Marshall, and East Carolina are predicted to round out the conference at No. 9 through No. 12.
“Conference USA is an extremely competitive conference and we will have some high energy matches in the Athletics/Alumni Center this season,” Platt said.
Tulsa’s senior All-American Tyler Henderson was tabbed as the conference’s Preseason Player of the Year.
RETURN OF THE CHAMPIONSHIP
After a two-year hiatus, the Conference USA Championship makes its return appearance. Tulsa will host the tournament Nov. 16-18 at the Reynolds Center in Tulsa, Okla.
Of Houston’s eight returners, three will play their final season for the Cougars in seniors Katie Norris, Stephanie Nwachukwu, and Chandace Tryon. Also representing the senior class is transfer Abby Simmons from the University of Utah.
Norris and Tryon return for the Cougars, following solid junior campaigns, both being named Second Team All-C-USA. Sophomore setter Caitlin Ogletree also returns after being named to the All-Freshman team a year ago.
The Cougars will host their Red & White Scrimmage on Saturday at Noon in the Athletics/Alumni Center. The scrimmage is free and open to the public. Houston will also host a Kids’ Clinic at 10 a.m. for kids eighth grade and under.