Aug 27, 2013
FRESNO, Calif. - With its official home opener this weekend, the Fresno State volleyball team continues their final preparation for the Bulldog Invitational, this Friday-Saturday, August 30-31.
The team's floor defense will again be a forte, thanks to a pair of liberos and several experienced outside hitters that helped the squad pace the Mountain West in digs last year (15.23 per set).
One of six starters back for the squad from 2012, junior libero Christina Lee topped the team in digs last year (473, 3.94 per set) and ranked eighth in the conference. She recorded a career-best 34 digs vs. Sacramento State and Wyoming among her 15 matches with +15 digs.
One of the team's top newcomers, freshman Maggie Eppright will challenge for playing time after she collected All-League and All-County honors her last two seasons for San Luis Obispo High School. A four-year team MVP, she logged 540 assists as a senior (8.20 per set) and 757 (8.8 p/s) as a junior), and helped her team to the 2011 league title en route to Pac-7 and County Player of the Year honors.
Two other returning outside hitters balanced the digging workload last year and sported +2.00 digs per set averages - seniors Korrin Wild (2.94 p/s) and Marissa Brand (2.84 p/s) - while graduated setter Barbara Alcantara also had similar totals (2.11 p/s).
"The battle for libero spot may be the most fun position to watch this fall," Netherby-Sewell said. "Christina has started for us since her freshman year, has a ton of experience, and has learned great lessons from her struggles. At her best, she is one of the best in the conference. Maggie is our incoming freshman who is ready to roll after she came in this summer to train and play with the team. She gets it. She's assertive and talented. I can't wait to watch these two compete and support each other to get better."
Bulldog fans can size up their play first-hand starting Friday when the team opens the season officially vs. Rice at 5 p.m. Immediately after, Cal State Northridge will take on returning NCAA qualifier Santa Clara.
On Saturday, the final day of the tourney features Fresno State vs. Santa Clara at Noon and vs. Cal State Northridge at 7:30 p.m.
In other tourney action, Rice and Cal State Northridge open Saturday with a 10 a.m. match, and Santa Clara takes on Rice at 5 p.m.
For Friday's Social Media Madness match Friday night, fans can take part in a host of in-match promotions to win great prizes.
Saturday's Santa Clara match is a Summer Volleyball Camper Reunion, while the evening tilt is a Bring Your Kids to the Match evening.
More information on various fall match promotions is available at www.GoBulldogs.com at the TICKETS/PROMOTIONS dropdown menu at the top of the page.
"Catch the Wave" --- Season tickets for Fresno State Volleyball start at $55 for adults and $35 for seniors and youth. A special 12-game tournament mini-plan is available for $15 and the Family & Friends Season Flex Plan starts at $89. To purchase season tickets, please visit www.gobulldogs.com or call 559-278-DOGS.
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