Volleyball Completes Preseason Camp

August 18, 2003 · MT Media Relations

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - One word can describe the Middle Tennessee volleyball team after completing preseason camp, aggressive.


The Lady Raiders ended two weeks of preseason practice last week, and with classes beginning today, the team is fast approaching the opening of the season on August 29 at the College of Charleston Tournament. With seven newcomers to compliment the six returning players, Middle Tennessee is looking to gel quickly as a team.


"The team's attitude is excellent," said head coach Lisa Kissee. "The players are really pushing for starting positions and striving to make each other better."


On the court leadership is key to the Lady Raiders and the team is getting help in that regard in both usual and unusual places. Newly voted co-captains Karisse Baker and KeKe Deckard provide needed veteran guidance but the team is also receiving direction in the form of freshman Andressa Lyra. A player with numerous years of club experience, Lyra is a 26-year-old freshman from Rio de Janero, Brazil.


"Andressa is a godsend," Kissee said. "She is very motivating on and off the court and is an aggressive and smart player."


The team is working on speed as their first match approaches and is looking to acclimate their setters to the 6-1-offense Kissee wants to run. The Lady Raiders have veteran setter Goldie Bilyeu, when she is cleared to play from the athletic training staff, junior college transfer Talayna Akrie and true freshman Megan Sumrell.


"The setters are improving daily," Kissee said. "They are learning new plays and getting used to our offense."


Kissee is also pleased with the rest of the freshman class. She is seeing Theresa Slowik, Allison Liptak, Victoria Monasterolo and Hannah Randolph really excel in practice.


"I am really pleased with our freshman," Kissee said. "They have adjusted well and know they belong."


Kissee added this is the best preseason she has had as far as player development since arriving at Middle Tennessee eight seasons ago.

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