1st set in Texas for another NCAA volleyball career

The Texas players defend the national anthem before a home game against Kansas last year at the Erwin Center.  The Longhorns, who finished national runners-up, are No. 1 in this season’s preseason poll and will play their games at Gregory Gym;  his home matches were at the Erwin Center last year.

Close your eyes, grab a volleyball and throw it on the Gregory Gym workout track.

The ball is likely to land near a Longhorns player who last season received some American recognition. There were five, including first-team players Logan Eggleston and Brionne Butler, both now seniors.

All this talent and experience that makes Texas the favorite to compete for their third NCAA championship and second coach Jerritt Elliott, who Longhorns won all of 2012. Texas, 27-2 and national runner-up last season, is the no. 1 in the American Volleyball Coaches Association preseason survey. The Longhorns open the season against San Diego No. 20 on Friday at 6 p.m. at Gregory Gym.

Bohls: The Longhorns should make a bow after an amazing season

The Longhorns are perennial candidates for the Final Four. Elliott has led them to nine Final Fours since 2008, including five appearances in the championship game. Still, he said this week that work is never made easier.