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VOLLEYBALL BEGINS 2013 SEASON IN DAYTON THIS WEEKEND

Volleyball plays three matches this weekend in Dayton, Ohio
Volleyball plays three matches this weekend in Dayton, Ohio
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Aug 28, 2013

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TULSA,Okla. - The University of Tulsa volleyball team opens the 2013 regular season in Dayton, Ohio at the Dayton Invitational in the Frericks Center this weekend.

TU starts off the tournament against the host No. 22 Flyers on Friday at 6 p.m. and then plays two matches on Saturday starting with Missouri State at 9 a.m. and Northeastern at 4:30 p.m.

Leading the way for the Hurricane is senior outside hitter Kellie Culbertson, who is a two-time All-C-USA Second Team selection in 2011 and 2012 and was selected to the Conference USA Preseason Team in 2013.

The Long Beach, Calif., native was second on the team last season with 339 kills, a 2.59 kills per set, and with 448 digs, a 3.42 digs per set. She led the team with 51 service aces and a 0.39 service aces per set.

TU looks to build off a 26-10 record from last season and an appearance to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight season.

TU lost seniors outside hitter Tyler Henderson, libero Jessica Adams, setter Jordan Clampitt, outside hitter Diana Silva and defensive specialist Shelbi Pitcher.

Henderson, a three-time AVAC All-American, left TU as the school's all-time kill leader with 2,525. Adams left TU with a school record 2,437 digs and placed second all-time in C-USA. Clampitt left TU second all-time in school history with 4,062 assists.

The Hurricane has started off the season with a win in each of the last five seasons and nine of the last 11 seasons.

UD defeated the Golden Hurricane last season, 3-0, at the Hurricane Classic hosted by Tulsa.

The Flyers were led by sophomore libero Jenna Krafka with 492 digs and senior middle blocker Megan Campbell was second on the team with 287 kills.

"They've had a coaching change," TU head coach Steven McRoberts said. "But it was an assistant coach that has taken over. We don't anticipate a drop off at all. They're a very talented team."

UD lost seniors setter Samantha Selsky, who had 1,273 assists, and outside hitter Rachel Krabacher, who had 505 kills.

The Hurricane got its first win against Missouri State last season in a 3-0 win in the Nike Invitational in Norman, Okla.

The Bears were led by senior outside hitter Christine McCartney with 335 kills, senior setter Carly Thomas with 1,312 assists and senior defensive specialist Ashley Mason with 542 digs.

"We played Missouri State in the first weekend and played well against them," McRoberts said. "I expect them to be very good. Their coach has done a great job with that program for many years. We know that's going to be a tough one."

The Golden Hurricane has not faced against the Huskies since the 2002 season, where NU won 3-0.

The Huskies were led by senior outside hitter Kelly Bacon with 346 kills, senior setter Ina Kamenova with 602 assists and junior libero Natalia Skiba with 530 digs.

"I've never coached against them," McRoberts said of the facing Northeastern. "They've had some successful teams. They're ranked, in preseason, second in their conference."

After the Dayton Invitational, the Tulsa volleyball starts its 2013 home campaign against cross-town rival Oral Roberts on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Donald W. Reynolds Center.

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).