Wed July 10, 2024

By Bren Yocom

Sports Razorbacks

Hogue Named Preseason All-SEC, Hogs Picked to Finish Eighth

Arkansas Razorbacks Razorback Volleyball
Hogue Named Preseason All-SEC, Hogs Picked to Finish Eighth
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – With just 50 days remaining until first serve, preseason SEC accolades and rankings have been announced for Arkansas volleyball.

Senior setter Hannah Hogue was one of 18 players to garner preseason All-SEC nods, her first time on the list in her career. The Fort Smith native finished the 2023 slate as an All-SEC and AVCA All-South Region selection and was also an All-American Honorable Mention.

Hogue paced the Arkansas offense to its first-ever Elite Eight last season, her first as the Hogs’ primary setter. She posted 11.13 aces per set, which placed her third in the SEC and sixth nationally. Her 1,413 total assists were the second-most by any Division I setter, the seventh-most in a single season in Arkansas history, and most by any Razorback setter since 2003. Hannah’s career assist count is currently 2,047, eighth best in the program record book. Hogue was named SEC Setter of the Week five times and SEC Player of the Week once.

She also had an excellent season at the service line with 0.40 per set, 51 total, which was second place in the SEC in both metrics and tied for 27th in the country in total aces.

The Razorbacks have been picked to finish in the middle of the pack at No. 8 in the SEC, which gets even deeper in 2024 with the addition of Oklahoma and Texas. The back-to-back defending national champion Longhorns have been tabbed to earn their first SEC Championship this season, with Florida and Kentucky coming in at No. 2 and No. 3. Georgia and Tennessee round out the top five, and Missouri and Texas A&M come just ahead of Arkansas at No. 6 and No. 7, respectively.

LSU and Auburn take up the last two spots of the top 10 and Oklahoma, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Missisippi State and Alabama claiming places 11-15.

Arkansas finished the 2023 slate in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament, the best finish in program history. The Hogs had a 28-6 record, their third straight 20-win season under head coach Jason Watson, and the most wins since 1999. They matched their highest ranking ever in the final coaches poll of the season at No. 8.

While the Hogs lost three key hitters to graduation, they return key starters in Hogue, libero Courtney Jackson, and middle blockers Zoi Evans and Sania Petties, who will all be seniors this season.

The Hogs get a boost from newcomers Romani Thurman, Aleki Alexander, Lolo Lambert and Kayla Robertson. Thurman is a transfer outside hitter from UNC, where she played her freshman season. As a rookie, Thurman had 174 kills in 24 matches, good for third on the team. She also made a big impact defensively with 62 blocks, third-most for the Tar Heels. Thurman is a Little Rock native and the daughter of Scotty Thurman, who won a national championship with Arkansas men’s basketball in 1994 as a player and was an assistant coach for the Hogs from 2016-2019.

Robertson, an outside hitter, has already played a spring season with the Razorbacks as an early enrollee, and is joined by Lambert on offense. Alexander, a middle blocker, bolsters Arkansas’ defense.

2024 SEC Volleyball Preseason Coaches Poll

1.  Texas (14)

2.  Florida (1)

3.  Kentucky

4.  Georgia

5.  Tennessee

6.  Missouri

7.  Texas A&M

8.  Arkansas

9.  LSU

10. Auburn

11. Oklahoma

T-12. Ole Miss/South Carolina

14. Mississippi State

15. Alabama