Mizzou volleyball (photo/MU athletics)

Mizzou volleyball (photo/MU athletics)

The reigning Southeastern Conference Champion Mizzou volleyball team was picked to finish third in the SEC this season. Mizzou picked up one first place vote and finished with 114 total points, which is voted on by the league’s 13 coaches. This is the highest that Mizzou volleyball has been selected in a Preseason SEC poll and it is the highest for the program since 2005 when the team was picked to finish second in the Big 12.

Mizzou is coming off of a 35-1 season after completing an unbeaten regular season with a perfect 34-0 mark, including an 18-0 tally in SEC play. The Tigers reset school records for wins, sweeps, conference wins, conference sweeps, consecutive wins and were the first ever SEC team to run the table in the regular season. The Tigers also led the nation in five statistical categories (hitting, kills, assists, wins and winning percentage) while resetting the program record with its .356 team hitting percentage.

Florida was picked to win the league, garnering all 12 of the possible first-place votes. Kentucky was picked second while LSU (fourth) and Alabama (fifth) rounded out the top five.

Mizzou will open the season on Aug. 20 with the annual Black & Gold Scrimmage at the Hearnes Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Place School Points
1. Florida (12) 144
2. Kentucky 129
3. Missouri (1) 114
4. LSU 105
5. Alabama 102
6. Texas A&M 89
7. Arkansas 87
8. Georgia 65
9. Auburn 54
10. Ole Miss 50
11. Tennessee 33
12. South Carolina 29
13. Mississippi State 13

For the third consecutive season, the 15th-ranked Mizzou volleyball team had two players named to the Preseason All-Southeastern Conference team as both senior middle blocker Whitney Little (Keller, Texas) and sophomore outside hitter Carly Kan (Honolulu, Hawaii) were named to the nine-member team Tuesday (Aug. 12). Both Little and Kan are coming off of monster seasons in which both earned American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Honorable Mention All-America honors.

Little, coming off of a season in which she set the single season school records for total blocks, solo blocks and hitting percentage, is being honored for the first time in her career on a preseason all-conference team. Little currently holds seven school records and needs just 38 total blocks to take over the career blocking record at Mizzou. Last season, Little averaged 2.34 kills per set on .463 hitting, a mark that ranked third nationally and tops in school history. She also matched her own single season school record with 139 blocks and tallied a school record 42 solo blocks in 2013. Little has played in 100 matches in her career, starting ever single won, and is part of a senior class that has won 75 total matches in three seasons. She has the fewest hitting errors in the nation among qualified hitters last season.

Kan is coming off of one of the best freshman seasons in program history as she was the SEC and AVCA Southeast Region Freshman of the Year in 2013. Kan tallied 383 kills (3.27 per set) on .364 hitting last season. Her .364 attack clip led all outside hitters playing in power conferences last season and she was the only outside hitter in the nation to hit better than .350 with at least 800 attempts. In SEC play, Kan was the only player to average at least 3.00 kills per set and 3.00 digs per set last season. In her last four matches of 2013, all against NCAA Tournament competition including two top-25 teams, Kan averaged 4.77 kills per set on .442 hitting.