Kentucky Volleyball Picked to Win SEC; Four on Preseason Team – UK Athletics


LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky Volleyball team was picked by the Southeastern Conference head coaches to win the league title for a sixth year in a row, the SEC office announced Monday morning. Kentucky won 10 of 13 first-place votes with Florida receiving two and Tennessee garnering one.

Additionally, Kentucky placed a league-best four players on the All-SEC Preseason Team with 2021 SEC Libero of the Year Eleanor Beavin, SEC Freshman of the Year Emma Grome, Reagan Rutherford and All-American Azhani Tealer making the prestigious list.

Kentucky won the 2021 SEC Volleyball Championship by going 17-1 in league play to secure its fifth-straight conference title. The Wildcats bring back a core of returners and add to it transfers and a strong freshman class that is sure to make a big impact on the season.

The 2022 volleyball season will begin Friday, August 26 as Kentucky hosts Marquette at 7 pm ET in Memorial Coliseum. Conference play begins Sept. 24 with a contest against LSU. Television assignments for Kentucky games will be announced at a later date.

Kentucky Volleyball season tickets are on sale now at UKathletics.com.

Preseason Coaches’ Poll

(First-Place Votes in Parentheses)

Place School Points
1. Kentucky (10) 142
2. Florida (2) 132
3. Tennessee (1) 118
4. Arkansas 105
5. Mississippi State 103
6. South Carolina 75
7. Ole Miss 70
8. LSU 66
9. Georgia 63
10. Texas A&M 62
11. Missouri 31
12. Auburn 30
13. Alabama 17

Volleyball Preseason All-SEC Team

Name, School Pos. Yr. Ht. Hometown
Jillian Gillen, Arkansas OH Sr. 5-7 Stilwell, Kan.
Merritt Beason, Florida RS/OH Lake. 6-3 Gardendale, Ala.
Bre Kelley, Florida MB Lake. 6-4 Rockwall, Texas
Eleanor Beavin, Kentucky L Lake. 5-5 Louisville, Ky.
Emma Grome, Kentucky p Lake. 5-9 Loveland, Ohio
Reagan Rutherford, Kentucky OPP Jr. 6-0 Missouri City, Texas
Azhani Tealer, Kentucky MB Sr. 5-10 Grand Prairie, Texas
Anita Anwusi, LSU MB Sr. 6-3 Houston, Texas
Sasha Ratliff, Ole Miss MB Jr. 6-2 Atlanta, Ga.
Gabby Waden, Mississippi State MB/RS Gr. 5-10 Columbia, SC
Anna Dixon, Missouri OH Sr. 6-3 Louisburg, Kan.
Jenna Hampton, South Carolina DS/L Gr. 5-7 Tampa, Fla.
Morgan Fingall, Tennessee RS Sr. 6-1 Fairfax, Va.
Natalie Hayward, Tennessee p Sr. 5-11 Bothell, Wash.
Danielle Mahaffey, Tennessee MB Gr. 6-1 Cincinnati, Ohio

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