Nashville, Tenn. - On Aug. 24 the Tennessee State Volleyball team will travel to Montgomery, Ala. to take part in the ISTAP Invitational.
On Friday, the Tigers will square off against the University of South Dakota for the team's first game of the season. Then at 7 p.m., the squad will play host school Alabama State. The Tigers will then follow those games with another pair of games on Saturday against Southeastern Louisiana and Stetson.
The Tigers are coming off of a 2011 season where they went 18-11 overall and finished second in the OVC with a 13-7 mark.
This year's team returns four starters from a year ago including senior defensive specialists Calasia Williams and Britani Hathorn. Last season, the duo combined for 707 digs and 47 service aces.
Big Blue also returns junior setter Erika Moss. Moss led the team in assists with 1201, which was also second in the conference. She was recently named COBRA Magazine's National Setter of the Year for 2011.
During the tournament, the Tigers will face four teams who all had losing records last season, but return most of their starters from a year ago.
Last season South Dakota went 14-18 overall, but the Coyotes return five starters including sophomore Kendall Kritenbrink. As a freshman, Kritenbrink averaged 4.23 kills and 2.01 digs per set.
The Alabama State squad only returns three starters (the fewest of the teams in the tournament), but those starters had a hand in the Hornet's third place finish in the SWAC. Last season, the Hornets set up their attackers well, racking up nearly 100 more assists than heir opponents.
Southeastern Louisiana struggled to a 5-28 mark last season including a 1-17 conference record. However, it was head coach Geno Frugoli's first season at the school, so the Lady Lions should improve during his second term.
TSU's final game of the weekend will be against the Hatters of Stetson. Last year the Hatters finished tied for ninth place in the Atlantic Sun after winning just two conference matches. One bright spot for the club is that it lost only one starter, but added seven incoming freshman.
Tennessee State's first match of the ISTAP Tournament is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.
You can follow alll of the tournament's action, here.
-- TSU TIGERS --