Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee State volleyball team will hit the courts on Saturday morning to train for the upcoming 2013 season. Head coach Kathy Roulhac enters her 10th season at the helm of the Tigers and is looking to claim the program's second Ohio Valley Conference Title.
“I am extremely excited,” Roulhac said. “It is always good to get back in the gym with the girls. Everybody, including myself, is expecting greatness. I am just ready for the 2013 season to begin.”
TSU finished 18-14 on the season and 10-6 in OVC play, good for a third place in the Eastern Division and the No. 4 seed at the conference championships. The Tigers won their first game at the post-season tournament, but fell to eventual champion Belmont in the semifinals.
Senior Erika Moss and redshirt junior Naomi Wells were both named to the all-OVC team in 2012 and will be looked upon to lead TSU.
“They are already hungry from last season,” Roulhac commented. “Erika, our lone senior, has been trying to do this for three years and she is on a mission. Naomi has worked all summer to get to the point she is right now. Those two girls [are] leading the pack; we are definitely going to come up with a championship.”
The Tigers open with three tournaments with a match at home against Alabama A&M sandwiched between their second and third tournament. The season kicks off against host South Alabama, defending Southern Conference champions Georgia Southern and Southern Utah at the Jaguar Invite on Aug. 30-31.
TSU will travel to Big Ten country on Sept. 13-14 to compete in the Hoosier Classic. The Tigers open with a match versus Wyoming and follow with games on day two against host Indiana and Conference USA opponent UAB.
After hosting AAMU on Sept. 17, Coach Roulhac’s squad will close out their non-conference tournament schedule with games against Elon, South Carolina State and UNC-Charlotte at the UNCC 49er Invite on Sept. 13 and 14.
TSU will be tested early as they open OVC play with three straight home matches. Eastern Kentucky is first on the slate at Kean Hall on Sept. 27 and is followed by two-time defending regular season champions Morehead State the next day. Three days later, on Oct. 1, cross-town rival and defending OVC tournament champions, Belmont University, steps into Kean.
“We try to put together a competitive schedule,” Roulhac stated. “I wanted to get some top teams on our schedule and that is why we chose the Indiana tournament. We try and have some competitive teams that are closer in nature to the OVC, as well as the big competition because we need to prepare for the next level. We feel the combination of opponents during non-conference play will prepare us for the OVC.”
The Tigers will take to the court on two occasions during Saturday's practice before splitting into individual workouts to close out the day.