Sam Houston State volleyball is looking to improve their 4-0 preseason record as they travel to Denver, Colorado this weekend.
The Bearkats will play Denver, University of Kansas, and Bradley University at the Denver Invitational.
The University of Denver will host the tournament as they look to extend their 3-0 win streak from last weekend’s UT-Arlington tournament, defeating Jackson State, Incarnate Word, and UTA.
The Pioneers are led by sophomore outside hitter Moni Corrujedo, sophomore outside hitter Nola Basey, senior libero Kate Acker, and freshman outside hitter Cassie Baird. Against Southland Conference IWU, Corrujedo led the Pioneers with 18 kills on 44 attempts, Basey following with 10 kills, Acker finished with 19 digs, and Baird registered 11 kills. The Pioneers have a strong offensive front row from the outside hitters as well as solid defense by Acker, who was named Defensive Player of the Week by totaling 57 digs last weekend.
SHSU will deliver from the front row as well with leading power house senior outside hitter Deveney Wells-Gibson, who was named Most Valuable Player in SHSU’s Volleyball Invitational. Following her lead, sophomores Shelby Genung, Breanna Homer and freshman Brooke White are threats at the net, too.
SHSU will take on Big 12 Kansas (2-1) who recently reached their 700th win as a program. The Jayhawks have seven returning players from the 2013 season and have recruited seven freshmen, one being Ainise Havili, who earned All-Tournament Team honors in her first ever collegiate games last weekend. Senior outside hitter Sara McClinton led her team with 18 kills against 23rd ranked Creighton and was the tournament Most Valuable Player. Junior outside hitter Tiana Dockery finished with 15 kills and sophomore libero Cassie Wait set a new career-high with 27 digs.
SHSU will also face the Bradley Braves (0-3).
Bradley fell short in a five-set loss against Stony Brook at the DePaul Invitational. Freshman outside hitter Taylor Thiele led her team in kills finishing with 14, while junior outside hitter Jessie Tulacka totaled 13 kills and was named to the DePaul Invitational All-Tournament team.
This weekend will be the battle of the front row and a test to see which team shows up defensively.
SHSU will take on Denver at 7 p.m. on Friday, Kansas at 10 a.m. on Saturday, and Bradley at 5 p.m. on Saturday.