Tiger Volleyball Camp Off to Positive Start
Aug. 17, 2004
MEMPHIS, Tenn.-- -
After just three full days of preseason workouts, University of Memphis head volleyball coach Carrie Yerty feels positive about the direction of her squad.
"Camp is going really well," said Yerty. "We are injury free and in terms of our overall fitness I think we are ahead of schedule."
The Tigers, who set a program record for winning percentage in last year's 30-6 campaign, return a wealth of experience in its five starters and 10 letterwinners. Seniors Tiara Gilkey and C-USA Preseason All-conference pick Heather Watts lead the group of veterans that also includes a trio of juniors and five sophomores, all of which saw valuable playing time in 2003.
"Christen Clayton is still a strong passer and is very capable of making big defensive plays as well. Her jump serve is coming along, which is exciting because liberos can serve for the first time ever in a rotation," Yerty said.
The returning players have also shown improvement that gives the program high expectations for the upcoming season.
"I think all the girls have improved over the course of the last year," said Yerty. "It's hard to tell right now who's going to step into what role. I would say Nancy Nellans has been solid for us as a passer and as an offensive weapon. Heather always brings stability. Emily Steckel came in, in great shape and has really improved on her passing and her defense from last year so you will see a lot of Emily."
Yerty, who is just 10 wins shy of her milestone 150th victory, is also pleased with her two in-coming freshmen, both of whom have shown talent in important areas for the team.
"Both freshmen have really been a pleasant surprise in terms of their front row play," she said. "Both of them are big bangers. Shelby Burton is an excellent blocker so that is exciting."
The Tigers will continue preseason workouts through the end of the month before opening the 2004 season by hosting Alabama A&M, Delaware State, Illinois-Chicago and Tennessee State in the 2004 Memphis Invitational tournament on Sept. 3-4.