JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (July 25, 2017) – The ETSU volleyball team officially opened its 2017 season on Wednesday, as they held their first official practice of the new season inside Brooks Gym. The Bucs, who went 22-8 overall and 13-3 in the Southern Conference, will have just over a week to prepare for their first scrimmage next Saturday, Aug. 19 against UNC-Charlotte. The Bucs’ will officially begin regular season play the following weekend, when they take on Lipscomb for the Lipscomb Preseason Tournament.
ETSU fans will see eight returning players from last year’s squad including, Hailey Aguilar (Oswego, Ill.), Kaela Massey (Brentwood, Tenn.), Mariah McPartland (Boone, Iowa), AJ Lux (Shelbyville, Ind.), Aya Lechin (Deerfield Beach, Fla.), Alyssa Kvarta (Crown Point, Ind.), Rylee Milhorn (Kingsport, Tenn.), and Braedyn Tutton (Courtice, Ontario). Despite losing four seniors, the Bucs have welcomed four newcomers to the program; freshmen Lexie Libs (Clarksville, Ind.), Kalee Vanderhorst (Raleigh, N.C.), Alex Sherles (Oak Ridge, Tenn.), and sophomore transfer, Leah Clayton (Danville, Va.).
Quotes from head coach Lindsey Devine and selected players regarding the first day of practice:
Head Coach | Lindsey Devine
“Last year was last year, and although we recognize what it takes to be a regular season champion, there’s new people to this puzzle. We’re going take it one day at a time right now and not put too much pressure on where we’re going to be at the end of the season. There’s so many games right now in front of us, so it’s about us getting better every day until we step out on the court and have some fun while we’re doing it. We’ve had a great time off. The girls have come back with wonderful energy. Today is our first practice, so I’ve really liked what I’ve seen so far, so it feels great to be back in Brooks. This is a team that’s very capable of playing at that elite level.”
Junior | AJ Lux:
“Day one is going really well so far. We’re all really excited to be in the gym and we know we have a lot of potential this year. We’re all just ready to get after it. We have a lot of new players. We have four that are incoming and they all have played at a really high level, so with our potential this year, we think we can go really far. We’re just really excited to show everybody all of our hard work.”
Junior | Alyssa Kvarta:
“It feels amazing to be back. Summer went by fast and that’s alright, but I’m just ready to come back and play with my girls. We are doing our best to defend home and stay undefeated, so that’s our main goal right now. We want to keep working as a team and staying as one unit. The team chemistry has been amazing throughout the year. We have three amazing freshmen and one transfer coming in. We’re ready to get them on the court. We’re just ready to dominate.”
Sophomore | Leah Clayton:
“The girls are definitely welcoming and they did their part of making me feel comfortable and making me feel part of the team. Coach definitely did her job in making sure we were all ready for this practice. Just feeling like I’m part of the team just feels really good and I’m glad that I feel that way here.”
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