Volleyball will host their first tournament in five years

Wally Pendergrass

Staff Writer 

The Troy volleyball team will host the Trojan Invitational 2014 in Trojan Arena on Sept. 4-5. This is the first time in five years that the Trojan volleyball team has hosted a tournament, and it will be the first to take place inside the new Trojan Arena.

The tournament will include three other teams beside the Trojans. Troy will compete against Mercer University, Alabama A&M University, and Jacksonville State University.

The Alabama A&M Bulldogs have made it all the way to the Southwestern Athletic Conference championship game for the last seven seasons, according to swac.org.

The A&M team hasn’t won the league since 2010 and has a new head coach this season. The Bulldogs will be looking to make a statement in the tournament, and they are considered by SWAC writers to be one of the best teams in the conference.

The Mercer University Bears will be under their second year of guidance from head coach Damian Elder.

According to mercerbears.com, the team added two new coaches to its staff and had a successful first practice. The Bears went 1-27 last season, and the only win they had came against the other team in the tournament, Jacksonville State.

The Jacksonville State Gamecocks also have a new head coach this season. The Gamecocks finished last season 13-18.

As mentioned above, the Mercer Bears and the Gamecocks have a history. These two will play each other at the Ole Miss Magnolia Invitational as well as at the Trojan Invitational this year.

The Troy Trojans are entering their ninth season under head coach Sonny Kirkpatrick.

The Trojans finished 13-21 last season but had a remarkable finish to the season by upsetting returning Sun Belt Conference champion Western Kentucky in the quarterfinals of the Sun Belt Conference Tournament.

Trojan senior Marija Zelenovic was named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt Conference volleyball team this week. She is one of eight selections from the entire conference.

The tournament begins Thursday, Sept. 4, at 4:30 p.m. with Alabama A&M facing off against Jacksonville State. The Trojans wrap up the night with a match against Mercer.

The tournament starts up again Friday morning with Jacksonville State playing Mercer. Troy will take on Alabama A&M at noon. That evening, things wrap up with Alabama A&M playing Mercer at 4:30 p.m. and the Trojans finishing the tournament against Jacksonville State at 7 p.m.

Matt Mays, assistant director of athletic media relations, said that there would be a tournament central page on troytrojans.com, once the tournament gets closer.

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