Sarah Brown (above) was selected to the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team with fellow senior Alex Smith.
Aug 26, 2013
CINCINNATI - The Xavier volleyball team was picked to finish third in the nine-team conference. The coaches also voted seniors Alex Smith and Sarah Brown as unanimous selections to the BIG EAST Women's Volleyball Preseason All-BIG EAST Team.
Creighton was picked to win the conference, earning 63 points and seven of the possible nine first place votes. The other two first place votes went to Marquette, which was selected to finish second with 57 points.
Xavier garnered 50 points in the voting and was trailed by Seton Hall (38), St. John's (36), Butler (26), Villanova (25), DePaul (16) and Georgetown (13).
Smith and Brown continue to rack up the accolades during their illustrious careers as Musketeers. A middle blocker from St. Louis, Smith has been named A-10 First Team each of the last two years and ranks fourth all-time for career hitting percentage at Xavier. Brown, an outside hitter from Mineral City, Ohio, was named to the A-10 Second Team last season following an AVCA All-America Honorable Mention nod in 2011.
Creighton's Kelli Browning and Marquette's Elizabeth Koberstein were picked as BIG EAST Preseason Co-Players of the Year. Xavier joins Creighton and Marquette as the only teams to place multiple players on the preseason all-conference squad. The Blue Jays led the pack with three selections, while both the Musketeers and Golden Eagles put two players on the team.
The Musketeers enter play in the BIG EAST after three-straight second place finishes in both the Atlantic 10 regular-season and conference tournament. Under head coach Mike Johnson's guidance for the past three seasons Xavier has eclipsed the 20-win plateau in each of the campaigns.
No. 7 Michigan, Clemson and Northern Kentucky will head to Cincinnati for the Xavier Invitational this weekend. The Musketeers open their season against the Wolverines on Friday, Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. Michigan, a Final Four participant last year, will provide a good early test for Xavier.
2013 BIG EAST Women's Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll
Seton Hall (38)
St. John's (36)
BIG EAST Preseason Players of the Year
Kelli Browning, Creighton
Elizabeth Koberstein, Marquette
2013 Women's Volleyball Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Erica Stahl, MB, Jr., Butler
*Kelli Browning, MB, Jr., Creighton
*Melanie Jereb, OH, So., Creighton
Leah McNary, OH, Jr., Creighton
*Vesela Zapryanova, OH, Sr., DePaul
*Danielle White, MB, Jr., Georgetown
Lindsey Gosh, OH, Jr., Marquette
*Elizabeth Koberstein, S, Sr., Marquette
Karin Palgutova, OH, Jr., St. John's
*Shelby Mathorpe, S, Jr., Seton Hall
*Sarah Brown, OH, Sr., Xavier
*Alex Smith, MB, Sr., Xavier
*Denotes Unanimous Selection