Aug. 15, 2011
NORMAN, Okla. – The University of Oklahoma volleyball programs begins the 2011 season ranked 16th in the preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association poll the organization announced today. The ranking is the highest for the Sooners since finishing the 2006 season with a program-best No. 12 ranking.
“It’s a great accomplishment to be ranked in the AVCA poll,” said Oklahoma head coach Santiago Restrepo. “We understand that this means we have to work extremely hard because we’re facing a very tough schedule. We’re flattered to be considered as a program that’s one of the nation’s best.”
The Sooners were the second highest ranked Big 12 team. No. 4 Texas was selected to win the Big 12 title, while Oklahoma and No. 18 Iowa State tied for second. The trio was the only three listed in the preseason poll with Missouri receiving votes. Of teams ranked in the top 25, Oklahoma’s non-conference schedule features No. 15 Colorado State traveling to Norman on Aug. 29 for a top-20 showdown. Sept. 2 opponent Cincinnati was receiving votes.
Oklahoma returns 10 letterwinners from last season’s 23-11 team that finished third in the Big 12 (13-7) and advanced to the NCAA Championship third round. The Sooners return five position starters and libero and welcome five newcomers.
Seniors Brianne Barker (Amarillo, Texas) and Suzy Boulavsky (Houston, Texas) and sophomore Sallie McLaurin (Midwest City, Okla.) were named to the Preseason All-Big 12 team.
Oklahoma opens the 2011 campaign Aug. 26-27 hosting the Nike Invitational. Season tickets for the 2011 season are available for purchase online or by calling (405) 325-2424 or toll-free (800) 456-GoOU. Single-match tickets for all home volleyball matches go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 17.