IRVING, Texas – East Carolina sophomore outside hitter Angeles Alderete has been tabbed to the 2023 All-American Athletic Conference Volleyball Preseason Team according to an announcement by the league Monday morning.
Alderete is the first Pirate to earn preseason accolades since Bri Wood did so prior to the 2021 campaign.
The 2022 AAC Freshman of the Year and All-AAC Second Team honoree ranked third in the conference in kills (501), kills per set (4.07), points (561.0) and points per set (4.56) a year ago while also becoming the first East Carolina player since 2007 to record more than 500 kills in a campaign.
Alderete was named to the American Conference Weekly Honor Roll five times (Aug. 29/Sept. 12/Oct. 3/Nov. 7/Nov. 21) and produced double-digit kills in 26 matches, racking up 20 or more on 11 occasions. She notched a team-high 14 double-doubles during her rookie season, including a 26 kill, 11-dig performance in a narrow five-set loss to Notre Dame.
In addition to Alderete’s recognition on the preseason all-conference team, the league’s coaches picked ECU second in the AAC East Division poll.
East Carolina garnered 70 points and five first-place votes, slotting just behind Memphis. The Tigers collected six first-place votes and 72 points. Florida Atlantic and Temple tied for third place in the division, followed by South Florida, UAB and Charlotte.
SMU is the favorite in the West Division and earned seven votes to win the overall regular season title and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Rice, the 2022 Conference USA Tournament champion, received six votes to take the regular season crown. Wichita State was tabbed to finish third in the West with North Texas, Tulsa, Tulane and UTSA rounding out the poll.
The Pirates are slated to open the 2023 season Friday, Aug. 25, with a pair of matches at the Bash in the Boro tournament inside Hanner Fieldhouse on the campus of Georgia Southern University. ECU will match up with UNC Greensboro and the host Eagles at Noon and 6 p.m. respectively before closing out the weekend Saturday with another Noon matchup against the Spartans.
2023 All-American Athletic Conference Preseason Team
East Division
1. Memphis (6) – 72
2. East Carolina (5) – 70
3. Florida Atlantic (1) – 48
3. Temple – 48
5. South Florida (1) – 37
6. UAB – 35
7. Charlotte – 33
West Division
1. SMU (7) – 78
2. Rice (6) – 72
3. Wichita State – 59
4. North Texas – 52
5. Tulsa – 30
6. Tulane – 24
7. UTSA – 21
Regular Season Champion
SMU – 7 Votes
Rice – 6 Votes
2023 All-AAC Preseason Team
Angeles Alderete, So., OH, East Carolina
Bailey Houlihan, Sr., L, Memphis
Sh’Diamond Holly, Sr., MB, North Texas
Aryn Johnson, Jr., OH, North Texas
Treyaunna Rush, Sr., OPP, North Texas
Nia McCardell, Sr., L/DS, Rice
Danyle Courtley, Sr., OH, Rice
Sahara Maruska, Sr., OH, Rice
Emilia Weske, Gr., RS, Rice
Emma Clothier, Gr., MB, SMU
Celia Cullen, Sr., S, SMU
Jamison Wheeler, Jr., OH, SMU*
Kayley, Cassaday, 5th, OH, Tulsa
Natalie Foster, Jr., MB/RS, Wichita State
Brylee Kelly, R-Sr., OH, Wichita State*
* Denotes Unanimous Selection
AAC Co-Preseason Players of the Year
Jamison Wheeler, Jr., OH, SMU
Brylee Kelly, R-Sr., OH, Wichita State