CORAL GABLES, Fla. – The University of Miami volleyball program had a conference-high four student-athletes named to the 2013 Preseason All-ACC Team.
Senior right side Alex Johnson, senior defensive specialist Ryan Shaffer, junior middle blockers Emani Sims and Alexis Mourning represented the Canes among the 18 selections to the 2013 Preseason All-ACC Team. Miami’s four selections were the most of any team in the ACC.
Johnson has started every match of her career and heads into her senior season ranked ninth in program history with 895 digs. The Tallahassee, Fla., native earns Preseason All-ACC honors for the second consecutive season. Following her junior season, she was named 2012 AVCA All-Region (East), 2012 All-ACC and 2012 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention.
Shaffer is a member of Miami’s 1,500 dig club. The San Jose, Calif., native currently ranks fourth in Miami history with 1,562 digs. Her 539 digs a year ago ranked second in the ACC and helped earn her multiple accolades including 2012 All-ACC honors, 2012 AVCA All-Region (East) Honorable Mention and a spot on the 2012 Redbird Classic All-Tournament Team.
Sims made school history when she became the second AVCA All-American in program history following an outstanding 2012 campaign. The Glenview, Ill., native earned Third Team All-America honors after collecting 160 blocks, second most in a single season in program history. Sims, who earned 2012 AVCA All-Region and 2012 All-ACC honors, was named ACC Player of the Week twice in 2012 and currently ranks seventh in Miami history with 265 total blocks.
Mourning had an excellent 2012 season that saw her earn 2012 AVCA All-America Honorable Mention, 2012 AVCA All-Region (East) honors and a spot on the 2012 All-ACC Team. The Arlington, Texas native was named ACC Co-Player of the Week on Oct. 8, 2012 and was selected Collegiate Volleyball Update National Top Performer on Oct. 9, 2012 following a stellar weekend of play against NC State and North Carolina in which she recorded 22 kills and 16 blocks combined against the two conference foes.
While Miami had a conference-best four selections on the 2013 Preseason All-ACC Team, the Canes were picked to finish third by the conference’s coaches. Miami head coach Jose “Keno” Gandara heads into his first season guiding the program with a team that finished second in the ACC a year ago. The Hurricanes finished 25-6 (17-3 ACC) and appeared in the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Johnson, Shaffer, Sims and Mourning are joined by junior outside hitter Savanah Leaf and sophomore outside hitter Kelsie Groot and six other talented players to form a team many expect to be strong in 2013. The 2013 ACC volleyball champion will be determined by the final regular season standings, with that team receiving an automatic bid to the 2013 NCAA Division I Volleyball Championship.
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