Incoming University of Texas freshmen Brionne Butler and Olivia Zelon have both begun their first semester of classes, and off-season training, with the Texas Longhorns, according to the team’s Twitter account. The pair moved on to campus on January 12th and will play their first official games for the Longhorns as freshmen this fall.
Welcome to campus, @ButlerBrionne and Olivia Zelon! #HookEm #2017 pic.twitter.com/dYs1aMp2PG
— Texas Volleyball (@TexasVolleyball) January 12, 2017
Butler, from Houston, is one of the three-headed top-10-ranked freshman monster that the Longhorns will debut this fall. She’s a 6’3″ middle blocker that hits at 10’8″ and blocks at 10’4″. She was also a member of Team USA at the 2015 Girls’ U18 World Championships.
Butler joins what could be the best middle in the nation next year for the Longhorns. They return their top two middle blockers as underclassmen next season, including Micaya White, who stepped up in a big way for the Longhorns last season when they lost All-American Chiaka Ogbogu for academic reasons. All signs indicate that Ogbogu will return next season, giving Texas all-conference or all-American caliber performers two-deep in the middle next season.
Zelon, meanwhile, is a 5’6″ libero from Santa Monica, California, where she was a First Team All-City and All-Western-L.A. performer in high school. Texas currently lists 5 liberos on their roster for next season, led by senior Cat McCoy, who led the team with 3.96 digs/set last season. McCoy was named to the 2015 All-Big 12 Second Team.
Texas currently has 3 tournaments on its spring schedule: the F.A.S.T tournament on April 8th in Houston, an April 15th Collegiate Showcase Tournament in Dallas, and an April 18th game against North Texas in Austin.