SPECIAL to KBEC Sports
East Carolina junior setter Shelby Martin has been named to the American Athletic Conference Volleyball Preseason All-Conference Team, according to an announcement by the league this past Thursday.
The 2016 Waxahachie graduate also received the honor prior to her sophomore campaign.
Martin, who earned second-team all-conference accolades in 2017 and 2018, enters her third year in the purple and gold with 1,920 assists – good for ninth in program history. She paced the Pirates in assists (836) and assists per set (8.80) last season while ranking fourth in the league in assists per set and fifth in total assists. Martin was the only player in the American Conference in 2018 and the first in program history to record a triple-double when she tallied 10 kills, 14 digs and 34 assists at Memphis.
The preseason coaches poll was also recently released and East Carolina was slotted ninth of 12 teams. Defending conference champion UCF was picked to defend its regular-season title while Cincinnati was selected a close second.
“Congratulations to Shelby for earning a deserved spot on the preseason all-conference team,” head coach Julie Torbett stated in an ECU Athletics press release. “I am also fine with where we were picked by the league’s head coaches. We are coming off a ninth-place showing in the standings, so that’s a fair judgment based on what we did a year ago. It doesn’t matter where you start, but where you finish. It’s now our job to make sure we exceed that prediction.”
Beginning this season, the AAC will sponsor a conference tournament. A total of six teams qualify for the three-day event which UCF will host Nov. 22-24. The winner will receive the league’s automatic bid to the NCAA Volleyball Championship.
ECU officially opens the 2019 campaign Aug. 30-31 at the Puerto Rico Clásico in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The Pirates will face off against Providence, George Mason and Evansville during their stay on the island.