LSU Volleyball Begins Preseason Workouts

by LSUsports.net (@LSUsports)
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LSU Volleyball Begins Preseason Workouts

BATON ROUGE — The LSU volleyball team, fresh off its first winning season since 1995, returned to LSU last week to begin preparations for the 2000 season.

“We, the coaches and players, are all excited about this season,” said LSU coach Fran Flory. “This program is on the right track in terms of building a consistent winner and this season will only push us closer to where we want to be.”

Among the returning players are four starters and 10 letterwinners from last years 17-15 squad. Leading the starters is all-SEC middle blocker Meagan Davis, who finished second in the conference hitting percentage last season at a .330 clip.

Joining Davis as returning starters are Jennifer Hampton and Meghan Bedford. Hampton led the team in digs and was second in kills last season as only a freshman. For her efforts she was named the Louisiana Freshman of the Year by the Louisiana Sports Writers’ Association.

Bedford is the top returning outside hitter in terms of efficiency. The southpaw led the Tigers outside hitters last season by hitting .197.

At setter, Lauren O’Connor and Katie Kubena split time this past season and both will make a strong push for the starting nod in the Tigers first match.

Also returning after redshirting the 1999 season due to shoulder surgery is Lauren Cuyler. The Slidell, La., native is the only freshman in LSU history to lead the team in kills as she did so in the 1998 campaign.

“We are excited about the group of players we have coming back,” Flory said. “Everyone on the team has put in a lot of effort in the off-season and that is what will make this season a success.”

The schedule for the Tigers will not be an easy one. After opening in the Colorado PowerBar Invitational which features Santa Clara, TAAC champion Central Florida and Colorado, LSU will compete in the prestigious Sugar Bowl Classic. There the Tigers will meet in-state rivals Tulane and New Orleans as well as Wisconsin, who finished ranked No. 23 in the nation last year.

LSU finally returns home on September 15-16 for the Tiger Classic which hosts 1999 NCAA Tournament participant Arkansas State, Southeastern Louisiana and Texas Tech. The next weekend, the Tigers begin the rugged SEC schedule with a date with South Carolina.

“Our schedule is tougher than it has been the past few years, but that is because we have the ability to beat these teams. We need to beat these teams to continue to move in the right direction.”