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Golden Hurricane Volleyball Reports for Preseason, First Practice Saturday

Ashley Hooper will look to make a big impact in her third season at TU.

Ashley Hooper will look to make a big impact in her third season at TU.
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Aug. 8, 2014

TULSA, Okla. – The University of Tulsa volleyball team reported to campus Friday, officially marking the beginning of their 2014 season. The Golden Hurricane will begin preseason practices with a pair of workouts on Saturday.

The coaching staff and all 17 student-athletes showed up to campus excited for what 2014 has in store. The Hurricane is playing its first season as a member of the American Athletic Conference.

“This day to me is one of the best days of the year,” said TU first year Head Coach Ryan Wills. “The players are really excited to get all of their new gear and finally be together as a team again.”

The program will be under new direction this season, as Wills took the helm following the 2013 season. Wills was a student coach for TU in 2006 and 2007 before serving an assistant coach for the 2010 season. He returns to his alma mater after a three-year assistant coaching stint at Alabama.

The Hurricane returns 10 letterwinners from a season ago, a season that saw the team finish 24-7 overall, and 12-2 in league play, and just missing the post season for the first time in four seasons. TU finished tied for second with Tulane in the C-USA standings. The team will face new challenges in The American, after winning six championships in nine seasons in Conference USA.

“Entering this preseason we need to set a culture of working hard each and every day,” Will stated. “We need to figure out early who we are as a volleyball team, and figure out the personalities that we have on this year’s team.”

Wills will have a strong returning class to work with for his inaugural season. Seniors Carly Boatwright, Bailey Clampitt and Valerie El Houssine have a combined seven seasons of playing experience at TU.


 

 

Along with the three seniors, the Hurricane also returns great younger talent in Brooke Berryhill, who was named to the C-USA All-Conference Second Team and C-USA All-Freshman Team in 2013. Erica Bohannon was also named to the 2013 C-USA All-Freshmen, playing in all 31 matches last season. Ashley Hooper, the junior out of Allen, Texas, will also look to have a breakout season, after playing a significant role for the Hurricane in her sophomore season.

The TU volleyball program added a lot of youth this offseason, as more than half of the roster is made up of underclassmen, with four new freshmen and a sophomore transfer.

The Golden Hurricane must replace a vital piece to the program this offseason with the graduation of Kellie Culbertson. She is one of two players in school history to rank in the top three in career kills, digs and service aces. Last season, Culbertson was AVCA Honorable Mention All-American, a first team member for the All-Southwest Region and a member of the C-USA First Team last season.

The Hurricane begins the 2014 season on Friday, August 29th and 30th at the Husky Classic, in Houston, Texas.

For all Tulsa volleyball news and information, visit www.TulsaHurricane.com. Follow Tulsa Athletics on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/TulsaHurricane and Facebook at www.facebook.com/TulsaHurricane. Follow Tulsa Volleyball on Twitter (http://twitter.com/TulsaVolleyball) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TulsaVolleyball).

-TulsaHurricane.com-