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Tulsa Volleyball Team Starts Practice

Golden Hurricane started practice Sunday
Golden Hurricane started practice Sunday
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Donald W. Reynolds Center

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Aug. 11, 2013

Tulsa, Okla. - The University of Tulsa volleyball team opened preseason camp on Sunday afternoon with its first practice at the Donald W. Reynolds Center in preparation for the 2013 season.

Tulsa, looking for its fourth consecutive Conference USA championship, was picked second in the C-USA preseason poll by the league's coaches. Tulsa tied UTSA for second with 192 points, while Rice was selected to win the conference with 200 points.

"It's great to have everyone on campus getting that anxiety out and getting to start practice," TU Head Coach Steven McRoberts said. "The first practice is always exciting. It's usually one of the practices that we have the most energy for the whole season. I thought we had a good spirited practice and got a lot of things accomplished."



The Third-year coach will have his toughest challenge with a young roster, featuring 12 student-athletes who have entered the program over the last two seasons, including five freshmen and one transfer added to the roster this offseason.

"We have so many new players. Eleven of our 16 players are freshmen and sophomores and one of our juniors is a transfer," McRoberts added. "We did a lot of teaching today and a lot of system work.

"The way we are going to approach it is that it's a rebirth of the program. They've got to make their own name. We are trying to set our own standards and we can't rely on the past."

Among the newcomers,junior outside hitter Valerie El Houssine is a transfer from the University of South Florida.El Houssine had 621 kills, a 3.06 kills per set, 77 service aces, 515 digs and 76 total blocks in two seasons with the Bulls.

The team also welcomes five freshmen in setter Genesis Viera, outside hitter Erica Bohannon, defensive specialist Brooke Berryhill, middle blocker Jamie Rahilly and defensive specialist Abigal Cachero.

Leading the way for the Golden Hurricane is senior Kellie Culbertson, who was second on the team last season with 339 kills and led the team with 51 service aces. Culbertson has been named to the Second-Team All-Conference USA squad the last two seasons.

Sophomore Ashley Hooper and junior Carly Boatwright led the team last season in total blocks with 82 and 76, respectively.

The volleyball teams starts the 2013 campaign on the road in Dayton, Ohio at the Dayton Invitational. TU plays the host Flyers Friday, Aug. 30 at 6 p.m. The team then finishes up the tournament the next day against Missouri State at 9 a.m. and Northeastern at 4:30 p.m.

The Golden Hurricane has its first home match of the season against cross-town rival Oral Roberts at the Donald W. Reynolds on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 7 p.m.

The Hurricane hits the road again at the Baylor Classic in Waco, Texas. TU plays the host Bears Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m., and then plays Mississippi State Saturday at 10 a.m. and Texas-Arlington at 4:30 p.m. to finish the tournament.

Tulsa hosts its own tournament in the Golden Hurricane Classic, Sept. 13-14. The Hurricane plays Arkansas on Friday at 7 p.m. TU rounds out the tournament with matches against Texas State at noon and Northern Colorado at 6 p.m. Saturday.

The Golden Hurricane hosts Oklahoma Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. before heading down to Norman, Okla., for the Nike Invitational.

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 (www.twitter.com/TulsaVolleyball) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/TulsaVolleyball).