Lady Raider Volleyball Opens Season with Home Tournament

August 29, 2002 · MT Media Relations
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - Middle Tennessee volleyball opens the 2002 season by hosting the Middle Tennessee Invitational on Friday August 30 and Saturday August 31.

The Lady Raiders will play all their matches in the newly refurbished Alumni Gym. It is the hope of the coaches and players that the Alumni Gym will become known as the exclusive home of Lady Raider volleyball.

"We are really excited about playing in Alumni," said head coach Lisa Kissee. "It is a great atmosphere and can be a loud venue when filled with fans."

Chicago State, Purdue, Western Carolina and Evansville will be in attendance at the tournament. It is set up in a round robin format, with every team playing each other once.

"I think this is a great representation of teams from our region," Kissee said. "It should be a good tournament for all the teams."

Middle Tennessee will bring an experienced squad to the court this season with four seniors returning in starting roles in Kelly Quinn, Katie Thiesen, Jennifer Hignite and Erin Hillstrom. The Lady Raiders also return the 2001 Sun Belt Freshman of the Year and Pre-Season All-Conference Player KeKe Deckard.

"The first few tournaments you are usually experimenting with line-ups and testing out players," Kissee said. "This year we won't be doing a lot of that because we have a pretty solid line-up."

One test the team will be performing is the new libero player rule. The libero is a player who does not count as a sub and can rotate in and out freely without it counting against the subs for the team. The libero can't serve, can't attack the ball above the net and can't set the ball with their hands if she is standing in front of the three-meter line.

"We are going to start the weekend using freshman Kimberly Moeller as the libero player," Kissee said. "You will know she is in the libero role because she must wear a different color jersey then the rest of the team."

The Middle Tennessee Invitational tournament begins at 11 a.m. on Friday, with the Lady Raiders playing at 1 p.m. against Western Carolina and the nightcap against Purdue at 7 p.m. On Saturday action begins at 9:30 a.m. with Middle Tennessee playing at 2 p.m. against Evansville and 7 p.m. against Chicago State.

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