Senior Laura Côté Tabbed Preseason All-Conference USA
Aug. 4, 2008
Irving, Texas - University of Memphis senior setter Laura Côté was named to the All-C-USA Preseason team the league office announced today. Côté will lead a young, but talented Tiger squad that was picked to finish seventh in the league's preseason poll.
The senior setter from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada was tabbed a C-USA all-conference performer for the second consecutive season in 2007. A year ago, Côté ranked third in the league in assists per game with 12.63, a figure that also ranked 38th in the nation a year ago.
She will captain a team that returns a pair of starters along with its starter libero in sophomore Christine Bach. Gone are a pair of the best players to ever wear the blue and gray--Shelby Burton and Ashley Liford--but first-year Head Coach April Jauregui returns solid contributors Lauren Thompson and Rebekah Strickland, while welcoming four solid freshmen to the program.
Tulane has been tabbed as the 2008 Conference USA Volleyball Preseason favorite, while Green Wave senior outside hitter Sara Radosevic has been selected the Preseason Player of the Year in a vote by the league's head coaches. Radosevic took 10 of the 11 top votes for player of the year honors, as head coaches are not allowed to vote for their own players.
Tulane collected 11 of 12 first-place preseason votes and enters the 2008 campaign with all 13 players from last year's squad returning, including three AVCA All-America honorable mention picks from 2007 and four 2008 Preseason All-C-USA picks. Radosevic picked up the AVCA award for the third-straight season after ranking 16th in the NCAA in kills per game with 5.01 and 15th in service aces per game, averaging 0.60. A 2007 All-Conference USA first-team selection after establishing a Green Wave single-season record for most aces (70), she was a unanimous to the league's preseason team. The Zagreb, Croatia, native currently ranks second on the Wave's all-time kills list with 1,469.
Joining Radosevic on the All-C-USA preseason team were teammates junior outside hitter Ksenija Vlaskovic, senior outside hitter Bridget Wells and junior libero Jenn Miller. Wells and Miller also earned 2007 AVCA honors.
Tulane had a strong 2007 season finishing 28-6 overall, 12-0 at home, and second in the league at 14-2. Five members of the Green Wave were named to the 2007 All-USA first or second teams, and head coach Liz Kritza was named AVCA Midwest Region Coach of the Year as well as C-USA co-Coach of the Year.
UAB is ranked second behind Tulane in this year's preseason poll with 126 points. The Blazers return 10 letterwinners and five starters from a team that went 24-10 and 12-4 in conference play a year ago. UAB also posted its first back-to-back 20-win seasons since 1992-93 and appeared in its second-straight conference tournament championship match.
Three Blazers appear on the 2008 All-C-USA Preseason team - seniors Nevena Stefanov, Lilly Domingo and Ivana Bozic. Stefanov is a returning All-C-USA first team honoree, while Domingo was named the 2007 C-USA Newcomer of the Year.
Tulsa has been tabbed to finish third and earned one first-place vote. The Golden Hurricane won the 2007 C-USA tournament title and made its first appearance in the NCAA Championship. Tulsa lost All-C-USA first teamers Julia Silva and Fabiola Nepomuceno, but returns senior libero Malorey Grove and All-Freshman team member Hanna Stout to the starting lineup that went 27-9 last year.
Preseason All-C-USA pick, Natalie Bogan and the Rice Owls return five starters and 11 letterwinners to a club that is predicted to finish fourth in the league. Rice collected 108 points, just two points shy of third. Bogan, an AVCA All-Midwest Region pick, led the Owls with 432 points during the 2007 season. The junior middle blocker averaged 3.23 kills per game on a .320 hitting percentage to go along with 1.08 blocks per game becoming only the second sophomore in program history to notch AVCA All-America honorable mention status.
Marshall is predicted to finished fifth as the Thundering Herd is coming off an impressive 2007 campaign with a 23-9 overall performance and a near perfect C-USA record of 15-1. Marshall also won its second regular-season title in three years.
Earning All-C-USA Preseason honors for the Herd is sophomore setter Elizabeth Fleming and senior middle hitter Jalicia Ross. Fleming spent part of her summer playing volleyball in Israel as part of the Athletes in Action program. The 2007 C-USA Freshman of the Year became Marshall's single-season assists leader when she dished out 1,642, a figure that ranks 11th best on C-USA's all-time single season charts. She also ranked 13th in the nation and second among all freshman setters, with a 13.35 assists per game average. Ross finished second on the team with 94 blocks (22 solo, 72 assisted). Ross and Fleming were All-C-USA second team honorees last year.
Houston ranked sixth in the Coaches' Preseason poll. The Cougars, who had 10 underclassmen on a 14-person roster, went an even .500 in league play (8-8) a year ago. Senior outside hitter Justine Farmer was the other unanimous selection to the All-Conference USA preseason team.
Over the last two seasons, Farmer has been the only player in C-USA to be ranked in the league's Top 10 in kills and digs per game. The El Paso native is just 125 digs away from the illustrious 1,000 kill-1,000 dig club. Farmer became the first Cougar to earn AVCA All-America honorable mention honors, after being named to the AVCA Midwest All-Region Team. She finished the 2007 season with a 5.51 kills per game average, which ranked third-best in the NCAA. Farmer's 1,666 career kills ranks first in the UH record books and ninth among C-USA's all-time greats.
2008 All-Conference USA Preseason Team Student-Athlete School Pos. Ht. Cl. Hometown Justine Farmer Houston OH 5-10 Sr. El Paso, Texas Elizabeth Fleming Marshall S 5-10 So. South Bend, Ind. Jalicia Ross Marshall MH/OH 6-3 Sr. Bank Village, Trinidad Laura Côté Memphis S 5-8 Sr. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan,Can. Natalie Bogan Rice MB 5-11 Jr. Oakland, Calif. Jenn Miller Tulane L 5-9 Jr. San Pedro, Calif. Sara Radosevic Tulane OH 6-1 Sr. Zagreb, Croatia Ksenkja Vlaskovic Tulane OH/OPP 6-1 Jr. Pozarevac, Serbia Bridget Wells Tulane OH 6-3 Sr. Raleigh, N.C. Ivana Bozic UAB OH 6-1 Sr. Arandjelovac, Serbia Lilly Domingos UAB MB 6-4 Sr. Franca, Brazil Nevena Stefanov UAB S 6-0 Sr. Belgrade, Serbia & Montenegro