Aug 21, 2013
HOUSTON - Sophomore middle blocker Emily Howard has been selected to the inaugural All-American Athletic Conference Volleyball Preseason Team, the league staff announced Wednesday morning. She is one of two sophomores to be selected to the team.
Howard played an instrumental role as a true freshman last season and was named to the Conference USA All-Freshman Team for her stellar performance on the court. She returns as the Cougars top performer in kills and blocks.
The Georgetown native saw action in 28 matches, starting in 26. She hit over .300 in 12 matches, recorded a .500 average in a win over Marshall (Oct. 14), and averaged a .241 attacking percentage for the year. Howard also had 88 total blocks, second best on the team.
No. 19 Louisville, the Cougars only opponent this season to be ranked in the AVCA Division I Coaches' Top 25 Preseason Poll (Aug. 25), took top honors in The American's preseason awards. Two seniors, Emily Juhl and Brooke Mattingly, were named Preseason Co-Players of the Year and to the preseason team. Two fellow Cardinals seniors were also named to the preseason team.
University of Central Florida (UCF) and Southern Methodist University (SMU) followed with two players each. University of South Florida (USF), Cincinnati and Temple also had players on the preseason team.
League officials also announced The American Preseason Coaches' Poll Wednesday morning. No. 19 Louisville was picked to take the inaugural conference title. Houston was picked to finish eighth in the conference.
Houston returns 10, with Meredith Ware as the lone senior. Kadi Kullerkann returns to the court after suffering a season-ending injury during the first set of the season. Also, Cortney Warren is now eligible after sitting out a year due to NCAA transfer rules.
Incoming freshmen Sarita Mikals, Marisa Guzman, Avalon Frantz and Hunter Wise joined the Cougars this season. Transfer students Maddy Clarke, Sophie Paine and Stephanie Daxboeck also made the roster. All three transfers are from abroad.
The Cougars close out preseason training this weekend with the annual Red & White Match Saturday at noon in the Athletics/Alumni Center. An Autograph session with the players will follow. Prior to the scrimmage, Houston Volleyball will host a free clinic at 11 a.m. for all students 8th grade and below. Parents may sign up their student upon arrival.
The Red & White Donation Luncheon will be held 1:30-2:30 p.m. Plates are $15 per person. All donations are accepted as well.
Houston kicks off the season at the Delta Zeta Classic hosted by Texas State Aug. 30-31. A change in the tournament schedule has occurred. On Friday, the team faces Quinnipiac at 9:30 a.m. and Lamar at 4 p.m. The Cougars close out the tournament Saturday against host Texas State at 6:30 p.m.
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