Greetings Bearkat fans! SHSU Volleyball has had a busy off season and would like to get you up to speed with what is going on with our team as the semester starts. We are still alive after the cold freeze here in Southeast Texas. No it wasn't as bad as when I was back home in Minnesota, but everyone complains like it is, I've gotten used to it, though.
First, to recap the 2009 season, we obviously had a great season on the court, finishing as the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament, and ending up losing out to a upset-minded Nicholls State. But ending the year with a 20-14 record, best here at Sam in 13 years. The future looks bright, returning most of our starters and getting our freshman and sophomores valuable playing experience.
Anna Ferguson, senior middle blocker was a runner-up for player of the year in the Southland Conference, and also named The Huntsville Item's 2009 female athlete of the year, as well as earning first team all-academic SLC honors- not too shabby ending her illustrious career. You would never know it from Anna, either - she is a very humble person, most of the time. Congrats to Carli Kolbe and Kaylee Hawkins for garnering first team all-SLC honors as well. As for in the classroom, the team ended the fall semester with a 3.15 GPA, which may or may not retain our title for highest GPA in the SHSU athletic department, we are still waiting for the ballots to be counted.
As for 2010, we just met with the team the other day, and they are looking ready to work hard and get after it this off season in preparation for the fall and our goal of winning the conference tournament, which we host right here in Johnson Coliseum in November 2010! The girls had the taste in their mouth last year, and are hungrier now.
We did add three new players at semester who we feel will be a big asset to our team. Crystal Roberts, 5'5" freshman transfer from Southern Arkansas, where she lead her team in digs and set a new conference record for digs in a match. She is originally from Hutto and is a DS/libero. She's already been working hard in the past month to be ready for the spring, coming to school in shape. Tayler Gray, 5'7" DS/setter from Huntsville, is an early enrollee from high school and is ready to get a head start to her college career. Gray was a four sport letter winner at HHS, and first-team all district player in volleyball and softball. Brittany Hoag will bolster the outside hitter and opposite position for us at 6'1", transferring from Arkansas State, where she led her team in kills and attempts. She also was second in digs and service aces, and hails from right down the road in Crosby. Brittany is very excited to be closer to home and be able to pursue her major of nutrition science. Having the three new girls is a breath of fresh air, and will only make us stronger with more competition in the gym.
Other than that, we have a busy spring schedule coming up, with lots of training, reps, practice and a few competition dates. Don't forget to sign up for our 3rd Annual Golf Tournament, which will be held at Raven Nest Golf Course in town on Saturday, April 17 - destined to be bigger & better than last year!
Eat 'em up Kats,
-- Joe Lind, Assistant Volleyball Coach