Volleyball team beats alumni in exhibition, prepares for season

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    With the volleyball team in the final stages of preparation for the upcoming season, the group scored an exhibition win against the volleyball’s alumni squad Sunday at the University Recreation Center.Although the current team downed the alumni team in four consecutive matches, the former players provided competitive play that the volleyball team was hoping to use to prepare for the beginning of their season.

    Junior Devon Kirk said the alumni game went really well and the experience gained from the match would help the team’s overall improvement before the beginning of the season.

    “The game showed us our weaknesses and what we still need to work on,” said Kirk, an outside hitter and middle blocker.

    Confident with the team’s ability to contend and compete in the Mountain West Conference, despite a 5-11 conference record and 17-15 overall record last season, head coach Prentice Lewis acknowledged the difficulties of playing in the Mountain West Conference.

    “People don’t really understand how tough the Mountain West Conference is,” Lewis said. “We were thrilled with how our schedule record turned out.”

    Top-25 ranked conference opponents include the No. 17 Brigham Young University Cougars and the No. 21 Utah Utes in the CSTV/American Volleyball Coaches Association Preseason Coaches Poll.

    Associate head coach Jason Tanaka said the program has a chip on its collective shoulder after being picked eighth in the preseason projections.

    Calli Corley, a senior deep striker and libero, said the team was very comfortable playing with one another, especially since the squad remains almost entirely intact from last season. With the advantage of experienced play on their side, Corley said the team is expecting more from this season. Corley was integral in the Horned Frogs’ defensive setup last season and is on pace to be the all-time leader in digs, according to the volleyball media guide.

    Age and experience are another factor playing for the Horned Frogs in 2007.

    Kirk said she felt that this season featured a matured lineup.

    “We’re so much more advanced mentally this season,” Kirk said.

    The key loss from the 2006 squad is lead scorer Anna Vaughn who averaged 4.36 points per game.

    The team will be taking its game to Tallahassee, Fla. on Aug. 24-25 against University of North Carolina at Asheville, Florida Gulf Coast and Florida State.

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