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SEC announces preseason team, coaches? poll

BY ANDRES FOCIL
SEC announces preseason team, coaches? poll
FAYETTEVILLE — For the third consecutive year, Jasmine Norton has been selected to the Preseason All-Southeastern Conference Volleyball Team, as announced Tuesday by the league office. The team is voted on by the conference head coaches. The Razorbacks were also picked to finish third in the SEC Western Division. Heading into her senior season, Norton is a three-time All-SEC performer having most recently earned first-team accolades following her 2011 campaign. Last year, she became the 14th player in program history to reach 1,000 career kills and currently is No. 6 on Arkansas’ all-time list. In addition to her all-conference honors, she was selected to the AVCA All-South Region Honorable Mention Team, and collected regional and national honors from COBRA Magazine. During the 2011 season, Norton averaged 3.63 kills per set which she improved to 4.00 kills per set in conference play. She also posted 2.33 digs per set, 0.50 blocks per set and 0.22 service aces per set. The Rowlett, Texas, native was third on the team with 10 double-double performances, nine of which came against SEC opponents. Norton had 10 matches with at least 15 kills during the year and was twice named SEC Player of the Week. The preseason All-SEC team consists of a minimum of nine players, which are voted on by the league coaches. Ties are not broken. Six of the nine players listed this year were named to the All-SEC First or Second Team in 2011. In a class-by-class breakdown, Norton is one of three seniors to be recognized. She is one of two players selected from the SEC Western Division. In the program’s fifth year under head coach Robert Pulliza, the Razorbacks received 27 points in the Western Division and are positioned behind LSU and Texas A&M, respectively. The top three teams in the division were separated by just seven points. Arkansas sits third in the preseason poll while Ole Miss, Auburn, Alabama and Mississippi State round out the Western Division predictions. Arkansas returns 10 letterwinners from last season, including five starters and its starting libero. The Razorbacks list of returners includes Norton, Roslandy Acosta, Christa Alvarez, Amanda Anderson, Kasey Heckelman, Marci King, Hayley Koop, Clarissa Pavey, Raymariely Santos and Janeliss Torres-Lopez. The Razorbacks incoming class of freshmen was recently named the No. 26 group in the country by PrepVolleyball.com, the highest ranking in program history. That class includes Monica Bollinger, Liz Fortado, Ana Jusino, Summer Morgan and Adrien Wohlschlaeger. Arkansas also adds junior transfers Emily Helm, Avery Lewis and Ashley Vazquez for the upcoming season. Points were compiled on a 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 basis for the Western Division and 1-2-3-4-5-6 for the Eastern Division. Each coach was not allowed to vote for his or her own team and each coach also voted for one team as the overall conference champion. Tennessee was picked by the conference coaches to defend its SEC crown. The team reports to campus Tuesday with practice beginning Wednesday. The Razorbacks begin their 2012 season Aug. 24-25 with the Arkansas Invitational, the team’s first of two home tournaments during the year. The field for the season-opening event will include UT-Martin, Northwestern State and regional foe Kansas. Arkansas will play 18 home matches in 2012, including seven against teams that advanced to last year’s NCAA Tournament. For more information regarding Razorback volleyball or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.
2012 Preseason All-SEC Team
Jasmine Norton (OH/Sr.), Arkansas Chloe Mann (MB/Jr.), Florida Whitney Billings (OH/Jr.), Kentucky Stephanie Klefot (L/Sr.), Kentucky Desiree Elliott (MB/Jr.), LSU Lisa Henning (OH/Jr.), Missouri Molly Kreklow (S/Jr.), Missouri DeeDee Harrison (MB/Sr.), Tennessee Kelsey Robinson (OH/Jr.), Tennessee


Sports Category : Volleyball (W)