Nashville, Tenn. – The Tennessee State volleyball team opens their 2013 campaign at the Jaguar Invitational in Mobile, Ala. on Friday. The Tigers open play against host South Alabama at 7:00pm and can be seen at usajaguars.com. TSU will face Georgia Southern at 10:00am on Saturday morning and conclude the two-day event against Southern Utah at 4:30pm.
The Tigers return five players from the 18-14 2012 squad, including senior Erika Moss and juniors Naomi Wells and Sherryce Butler. A two-time Ohio Valley Conference selection, Moss will lead the Tigers from her setter position. The senior is the all-time assists leader with 3,356, including 1,203 as a junior.
Wells led the Tigers with 433 kills last season and was selected to the all-OVC First Team. The junior averaged 3.67 kills per set and also finished second on the team with 345 digs. Butler led the team with a .231 hitting percentage on 156 kills and was second with 32 blocks.
The Tigers sport eight newcomers including outside hitter Taylor Swayzer. The junior comes to TSU from Missouri State-West Plains where she earned Second Team All-American honors from both the NJCAA and AVCA last season after recording 340 kills and 456 digs.
Saturday will mark the first time Tennessee State will face both Georgia Southern and Southern Utah. The Tigers are 0-1 lifetime against South Alabama who return eight players from last season’s 13-17 squad. Sophomore outside hitter Savannah Stewart returns after registering 300 kills in her first season. Stewart also notched 31 aces, 36 blocks and 305 digs.
Georgia Southern returns three starters from last year’s 25-7 team. Kym Coley led the team with 98 blocks and recorded 255 kills for a .293 hitting percentage. Libero Alexandra Beecher set a single-season record with 604 digs as a freshman.
Southern Utah staked a 12-20 record in 2012 and will be paced by Kylie Schofield who is the top returner with 254 kills (2.17 per set) and 99 blocks. Annie Stranding was third on the team with 77 blocks last season and averaged 1.00 kills per set.