Texas Border Business
RIO GRANDE VALLEY – The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) volleyball team learned on Wednesday that senior outside hitter Samaret Caraballo and junior outside hitter Sarah Cruz are Preseason All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) selections as voted on by the WAC head coaches.
Additionally, UTRGV, which won the 2018 WAC Championship and the 2016 WAC Tournament Championship, was picked to finish third in the WAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Caraballo primarily played at the libero position last season, recording 502 digs, the eighth-highest single-season total in program history. She had 10 matches of 20+ digs, tied for the sixth most in a career in program history. She also served up 43 aces last season, tied for the 10th-highest single-season total in program history. Caraballo made one start at outside hitter, recording seven kills with 10 digs at CSU Bakersfield late in the season.
Cruz averaged 3.13 kills, 1.81 digs and 9.48 blocks in 115 sets across 31 matches last season. She led the Vaqueros in kills 12 times, blocks five times and digs once while recording double-figures in kills 20 times and digs five times en route to five double-doubles.
UTRGV received 48 points in the coaches’ poll, six ahead of California Baptist which was picked fourth with 42 points. Defending WAC Champion New Mexico State was picked first with eight first place votes and 65 points. Grand Canyon received the remaining first place vote, placing second with 55 points.
Utah Valley was picked to finish fifth with 40 points. Seattle U and newcomers Dixie State and Tarleton State were picked to finish tied for sixth with 21 points. Chicago State was picked last with 12 points.
UTRGV opens the season in Corpus Christi on Jan. 22 at 1:30 p.m. against UTSA before facing host Texas A&M-Corpus Christi as part of the South Texas Showdown, presented by Navy Army Community Credit Union, at 6:30. The home opener, also the Western Athletic Conference opener, is set for Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. against Chicago State.
Preseason Coaches’ Poll
|Place||Team (First Place Votes)||Pts.|
|1.||New Mexico State (8)||65|
|2.||Grand Canyon (1)||55|
Preseason All-WAC Team
|Samaret Caraballo||Sr.||OH||UT Rio Grande Valley|
|Sarah Cruz||Jr.||OH||UT Rio Grande Valley|
|Savannah Davison||Jr.||OH||NM State|
|Christine Graf||So.||OH||California Baptist|
|Seren Jardine||Sr.||DS/L||Utah Valley|
|Eve Kerschenbaum||Jr.||OH||Seattle U|
|Anabelle Kubinski||Jr.||MB||Grand Canyon|
|Sydney Marks||Sr.||MB||California Baptist|
|Tijana Milojevic||Sr.||L||Seattle U|
|Klaire Mitchell||So.||S||Grand Canyon|
|Lia Mosher||Jr.||MB||NM State|
|Kaira Moss||Jr.||MB||Grand Canyon|
|Julianna Salanoa||Sr.||MB||NM State|
|Kazna Tarawhiti||Jr.||OH||Utah Valley|
Preseason Player of the Year: Savannah Davison, New Mexico State