Texas A&M Volleyball Picked to Win SEC; Aiple, Babers Named to P - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Texas A&M Volleyball Picked to Win SEC; Aiple, Babers Named to Preseason All-SEC Team


Defending Southeastern Conference champion Texas A&M is picked to retain its title this year, according to the 2016 SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released today by the league office. In addition, reigning SEC Player of the Year Stephanie Aiple and 2015 AVCA second-team All-American Jazzmin Babers of Texas A&M have been voted to the Volleyball Preseason All-SEC Team.

The Aggies, who went 24-7 overall and 16-2 in the SEC last season, received seven of the 13 first-place votes and 137 total points to finish atop the preseason poll. Points were compiled on a 12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis, and coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.

Florida is picked second after receiving five first-place votes and 131 points, followed by third-place Kentucky with 123 points. Missouri, which tied Kentucky for second place in the final 2015 SEC standings, is picked fourth, having received one first-place votes and 119 total points. Arkansas (93 points) and Alabama (90) are fifth and sixth, respectfully, followed by Auburn (84) and LSU (60). Tennessee is picked ninth with 53 points, and Mississippi State and South Carolina are tied for 10th place with 39 points each.  Ole Miss received 33 points and Georgia 13 points to round out the poll.

Aiple, a junior setter from Round Rock, Texas, and Babers, a senior middle blocker from Syracuse, N.Y., highlight the nine-member Preseason All-SEC Team. Others selected to the preseason team are Krystal Rivers from Alabama; Pilar Victoria from Arkansas; Rhamat Alhassan and Alex Holston from Florida; Kaz Brown and Ashley Dusek from Kentucky; and Carly Kan from Missouri.

Texas A&M’s Laurie Corbelli, the reigning SEC and AVCA South Region Coach of the Year, returns five starters and the libero, as well as 14 letterwinners overall from last year’s celebrated team that won its last 14 regular season matches to capture the program’s first-ever conference championship. Corbelli, entering her 24th season at the helm of the Aggies, also welcomes eight true freshmen along with a redshirt freshman.

Texas A&M, No. 16 in the AVCA Preseason Top 25 Poll, begins the season August 26 against Nevada in the opening match of the North Texas Challenge in Denton, Texas. The Aggies’ home opener is Friday, Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. against No. 4 Wisconsin at Reed Arena.

The Aggies begin defense of their SEC title on Friday, Sept. 23 at Alabama. Texas A&M makes its home conference debut against Auburn on Sunday, Sept. 25.

2016 SEC Preseason Coaches’ Poll

(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)

Place       School                                Points

1.              TEXAS A&M (7)               137

2.              Florida (5)                          131

3.              Kentucky                           123

4.              Missouri (1)                      119

5.              Arkansas                            93

6.              Alabama                            90

7.              Auburn                               84

8.              LSU                                      60

9.              Tennessee                        53

10.            Mississippi State             39

11             South Carolina                 39

12.            Ole Miss                             33

13.            Georgia                              13

2016 Preseason All-SEC Team                Pos.       Ht.          Cl.       Hometown

Krystal Rivers, Alabama                             MB         5-11       R-Sr.  Birmingham, Ala.

Pilar Victoria, Arkansas                              OH          5-11       Sr.       Caguas, Puerto Rico

Rhamat Alhassan, Florida                         MB         6-4          Jr.       Glenarden, Md.

Alex Holston, Florida                                  RS           6-1          Sr.       Olney, Md.

Kaz Brown, Kentucky                                 MB         6-4          Jr.       Waterloo, Iowa

Ashley Dusek, Kentucky                           DS           5-7          Jr.       East Bernard, Texas

Carly Kan, Missouri                          OH       5-9       Sr.     Honolulu, Hawaii

Stephanie Aiple                                            S              6-1          Jr.       Round Rock, Texas

Jazzmin Babers                                             MB         6-2          R-Sr.  Syracuse, N.Y.

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