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Volleyball Preseason Awards Announced
August 02, 2017

The Big 12 Conference has announced the 2017 Preseason All-Big 12 Volleyball team and individual awards, as voted on by league coaches.

The preseason team, made up of 13 student-athletes across all nine league institutions, is led by 2016 Big 12 Champion Kansas and the 2016 national runner-up Texas with three honorees apiece. Six members were chosen unanimously: Katie Staiger (BU), 2016 Big 12 Setter of the Year Ainise Havili (KU), 2016 Big 12 Player of the Year Kelsie Payne (KU), Madison Rigdon (KU), Ebony Nwanebu (UT) and 2016 Big 12 Freshman of the Year Micaya White (UT).

Payne was awarded her second straight Preseason Player of the Year nod. Payne led the Jayhawks to the Big 12 title a year ago and is the only KU student-athlete to recieve the honor. During 2016 conference action, she averaged 4.07 kills per set and 4.77 points per set.

Texas outside hitter Lexi Sun recorded Preseason Freshman of the Year, marking the 10th Longhorn to earn the title.

The 2017 Big 12 volleyball preseason poll will be announced on Thursday, August 3. The season starts on Friday, August 25, with the first conference match scheduled for Wednesday, September 20.

Preseason Player of the Year: Kelsie Payne, Kansas, Sr., RS, Austin, Texas

Preseason Freshman of the Year: Lexi Sun, Texas, Fr., OH, Solana Beach, Calif.


Name School Pos. Ht. Class Hometown
Katie Staiger^* Baylor OH 6-1 Sr. Lewisville, Texas
Jess Schaben* Iowa State OH 6-2 Jr. Defiance, Iowa
Ainise Havili^* Kansas S 5-10 Sr. Fort Worth, Texas
Kelsie Payne^* Kansas RS 6-3 Sr. Austin, Texas
Madison Rigdon^* Kansas OH 6-0 Sr. Pflugerville, Texas
Bryna Vogel Kansas State OPP 6-0 Sr. Clearwater, Kan.
Madison Drescher Oklahoma OH 6-2 Jr. Southlake, Texas
Anna Walsh TCU MB 6-2 Jr. Grapevine, Texas
Ebony Nwanebu^* Texas OH 6-4 Sr. Fairview, Texas
Chiaka Ogbogu Texas MB 6-2 Sr. Coppell, Texas
Micaya White^* Texas OH 6-1 So. Frisco, Texas
Reyn Akiu~ Texas Tech L/DS 5-2 Jr. Honolulu, Hawaii
Payton Caffrey* West Virginia OH 6-0 So. Chuluota, Fla.

^ - Unanimous Selection
* - 2016 All-Big 12 First Team honoree
~ - 2016 All-Big 12 Second Team honoree
Ties in voting created a 13-member team. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own players.  

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