VOLLEYBALL NOTEBOOK: Blue Raiders return home

Camp season offers opportunity for former and current volleyball players to connect

July 23, 2011 · Athletic Communications
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - As the summer begins to wind down, a number of familiar faces have made their way back to the friendly confines of Alumni Memorial Gym to help the Middle Tennessee volleyball coaching staff organize and run annual summer camps.

"Camp has always been a big deal for our program, and one of the nice things is that every year we have more of our volleyball alumni coming back and working camp for us," head coach Matt Peck said. "The campers have really responded to them over the years, so it helps us tremendously. It's also nice to spend some time with the girls after they've graduated and see what's going on in their lives."

One of the real highlights of camp each summer is the building of relationships between former Middle Tennessee standouts and the current group of Blue Raiders.

"I think the interaction has a very positive effect on the current team," Peck said. "Alumni have always talked with the new players and provided motivation for them. I think it's really nice and develops a family atmosphere here. I mean, we have some girls here that were in our first recruiting class, and they still know everyone, from the seniors to the freshmen, on this year's team."

The family sentiment is one that is echoed by a number of former Blue Raiders.

"I think that our involvement shows outsiders that Middle Tennessee's volleyball team has always been more than just a team," said Ashley Asberry, a 2009 graduate. "We come back and support each other, and I think that being in that kind of environment definitely affects members of the current team."

"I think our involvement serves as an example of what a team is about," added Ashley Waugh, who finished her playing career in 2009. "We all still love each other enough that we want to all come down here and spend a few weeks together working camp. Coming from out of state, it's a lot of fun for me especially."

"It's a family here and it's always been a family here," said Quanshell Scott, who joined the program as a member of Peck's first team at MT in 2004. "Some people leave college and don't come back at all. It's always been important for us to come back and show the newer girls where the program came from. We were the foundation."

"We just want the tradition to continue," fellow 2008 graduate Alicia Lemau'u said. "We want to keep it going. I honestly feel that that the pride that the alumni have motivates the current players. We know where the program is capable of, and we want it to get better each year."


Marshall set to join program

The 2010 Sun Belt Champion Middle Tennessee volleyball team will look to get stronger this fall with the addition of Monet Marshall, as announced by head coach Matt Peck on Saturday.

Marshall will be entering the program after coming to Middle Tennessee last fall as a student. The Memphis native was a standout performer for Houston High School, earning District Player of the Year and All-State honors as a senior in 2009. Marshall also helped lead the Mustangs to their best performance in school history at the TSSAA state tournament, held annually in Murfreesboro.

"We're very excited to finally have Monet as a member of our team," Peck said. "I know it was difficult for her last season to not be able to practice or compete, and we're looking forward to the opportunity to work with her personally."

Marshall, who played for Memphis Juniors Volleyball Club, will have four years of eligibility for the Blue Raiders and is projected to play at middle blocker.

Middle Tennessee will begin practice for 2011 later this summer before starting off the season against Colorado State on August 27.


Blue Raiders move into new locker room

In addition to the installation of a new floor at Alumni Memorial Gym this summer, the Middle Tennessee volleyball team moved into a larger and more accommodating locker room. Located just down a flight of stairs from the gym, the new locker room will provide both a place to change and a place to relax for the Blue Raider volleyball team.

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