Defending champ Texas among volleyball contenders returning quality starters

Posted Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Top-ranked Texas has all but one starter back from last year’s national championship volleyball team, and Jerritt Elliott said his roster is the deepest it has been in his 13 years at the school.

But the 2012 national coach of the year isn’t ready to book a fifth appearance in six years in the NCAA final four.

That’s because the top challengers to Texas also return a bevy of talent. In fact, 10 of the 14 players who were first-team All-Americans are back.

Returning All-Americans Haley Eckerman and Bailey Webster are the headliners for a Texas team that hit a nation-leading .325 last season and won 23 of its last 24 matches, including a 3-0 sweep of Oregon in the NCAA final.

Second-ranked Penn State, which won four straight national titles from 2007-10, lost no starters from the team that made it to the semifinals. Every starter also is back at No. 3 Stanford.

The Longhorns open Aug. 31 at No. 11 Hawaii.

Briefly

• Oklahoma football: Sophomore cornerback Cortez Johnson and junior defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue from Dallas Jesuit will sit out the season opener against Louisiana-Monroe as they serve one-game suspensions for arrests within the last year, according to Fox Sports Southwest.

• Texas football: Offensive tackle Desmond Harrison was cleared by the NCAA to play, ending an eligibility issue over an independent study course from BYU that had sidelined the junior college transfer for two weeks, according to ESPN.

• TCU football: The annual Meet the Frogs autograph session for fans is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Sam Baugh Indoor Practice Facility. Fans are allowed one autograph from each player and coach Gary Patterson. Team posters will be available.

• UT Arlington women’s basketball: Coach Krista Gerlich announced the signing of 6-foot-1 Taylor Caspers from New Mexico Junior College. She played under UTA assistant coach Talby Justus her freshman season.

• Iowa State football: Former South Florida wide receiver D’Vario Montgomery is transferring to the Cyclones and will redshirt this season.

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