NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee State University volleyball team boosts the intensity of practice on Thursdays thanks to an idea implemented by head coach Kathy Roulhac.
· Thursdays in volleyball camp are “Take it to ‘Em Thursdays.” In each drill, players are awarded points based on their success. At the end of the day the points are tallied and the one with the most wins. The winner receives a small prize. The idea came from the US national team and this is the first year that coach Roulhac has implemented it. The added incentive has added to the overall intensity of practice on Thursday.
· Coaches continue to gush about the talent this year’s team has shown in practice, both from returners and newcomers. One of the recurring players they talk about is junior Haley Hampton, who transferred in from Panola College. The Mesquite, Texas, native won “Take it to ‘Em Thursday” last week, and has kept the eye of the coaches ever since.
· A key storyline for 2014 will be how the Tigers replace the production of Erika Moss. Replacing the premier setter for TSU over the last four years won’t be easy, but coach Roulhac believes TSU is in good shape. “There’s always a learning curve. Even if Misty May walked in, she’d still have to build that relationship with our attackers. Samantha Beltran has come in and done that. We have named her our starting setter for 2014. She has great hands and footwork and a mind for the game. I’m looking forward to the next four years with her.”
· This Saturday will be the first opportunity for the Tigers to play against someone other than themselves. Two weeks of drills and intra-squad competition will give way to the Alumni Game. Coach Roulhac says the girls will be treating it just like a conference tournament game and will be using it to evaluate how each player will react to a game situation.
Trash Talk Thursdays: The extra incentive of the points system on Thursdays has beefed up the competitive nature of the players. Practically every point is followed by a flurry of banter from one side of the net to the other.