The Troy University volleyball team began practice for its 2016 fall season on Monday, Aug. 8, in the Trojan Arena.
After finishing the season at a disappointing 14-18 (7-9 Sun Belt), the Trojans are looking to get back on track behind the leadership of senior Symone Shaw.
“It was a little shaky at the beginning just timing-wise with the setters and the hitters and throwing in new defenses,” head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick said. “In the grand scheme of things, I was pretty pleased with the entire practice. I think we’re a lot further ahead this year than we were last year.”
Troy held its ground at home with an 11-4 record in Trojan Arena, once tying its longest winning streak in school history with six consecutive wins. Furthermore, the Trojans won eight consecutive games last year, the second-best such streak in program history.
Returning starters include seniors Shaw, Leah Causey and Sara Landis and junior setter Reina Terry.
Shaw, the only Trojan to play all four years, racked up 197 kills and 51 blocks last season. Her supporting cast includes Landis, who was the kills leader with a total of 252.
Terry recorded 933 assists in the 2015 season, putting her ninth in that category in the Sun Belt.
Five other returning players all totaled 115 kills, with Jordyn Saulsberry leading at 56. They had 261 assists, with 234 from Alisha Hinrichs, 211 digs, led by Avalon Nero with 155 and 20 blocks with 12 by Saulsberry.
Six newcomers will work to fill the holes left by seniors libero Ali Dowdall, middle hitter Darby Griff and outside hitter Blair Winston. Five of them are freshmen.
Troy kicks off its season in Johnson City, Tennessee, at the ETSU Tournament. Its first game is against the University of South Carolina Upstate on Friday, Aug. 26, at 3 p.m.
Southeastern Louisiana will visit for the first Trojan home match Tuesday, Aug. 30, at 6 p.m. in the Trojan Arena.