Volleyball shapes up to host tournament

The Bearkats look to start their 2008 volleyball season with a bang as they host tournament starting Friday.

Last season, Sam Houston went 11-19 and 5-11 in conference play, racking up 1,512 kills, 1,340 assists, and 2,052 digs and a third Southland Conference post-season tournament berth in the last four years.

The 2008 season may be different.

Despite losing All-Southland Conference Cynthia Yarotsky to graduation, the Bearkats have 16 players on their roster. SHSU head coach Brenda Gray said, “This gives a lot of depth. There are a lot of options and a lot of competition.”

In total, there are nine returning players, six freshmen, and one transfer. Of the nine returnees, five are starting players including Megan McNamara, who had 1,037 assists last season. Also in the mix is Blinn College transfer Haley Thomas who was a two-year starter and a junior college All-American., “She’s a very fine player and we are really fortunate to have her,” said Gray.

Flash back a year to the first match of the Southland Conference tournament. Number eight seed Sam Houston took on number one seed Lamar. Unfortunately, Sam Houston would lost in three sets to get knocked out. This experience not only molded the players into determined athletes, it also got yhem looking forward to the new season. “Our goal is to get to the conference championship game,” she said.

The Sam Houston volleyball team will begin their run for the conference championship at the Comfort Suites Sam Houston Invitational starting Friday, playing Centenary at 2 p.m. followed by the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay at 7 p.m. The tournament concludes on Saturday.

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