Falcons Prepare for Season-Opening Tournament
Aug. 27, 2002
The Air Force women's volleyball team is set to kick off the season this weekend at the Bobcat Classic. The Falcons will take on Southern Illinois, North Texas, Mississippi State and host Southwest Texas State in the two-day tournament, held Aug. 30-31.
The Falcons kick off the season on Aug. 30 against Southern Illinois. Match time is set for 8 a.m. MST. The will then face North Texas at 4 p.m. On Aug. 31st, the Falcons take on Mississippi State at 12:30 p.m., followed by Southwest Texas State. (For a complete tournament schedule, see the press release.)
"We should have no trouble winning this tournament," said team co-captain Kristin Huitt. "Our preseason practices were much better than in the past. We are a cohesive unit. We expect great success this year, starting with our seaon-opening tournament,
Returning to start for the Falcons is junior Delavane Diaz, an outside hitter who has led the team in kills and attacks in each of her first to seasons. Diaz is excited about the team's prospects for the season.
"The 2002 season is full of promise," Diaz said. "Not only does the team return a wealth of experience but we also welcome a talented group of four degrees (freshmen). I think we now have the dynamics and the diversity we need to compete and win at the highest level."
The Falcons are returning all six starters from last year's team, including sophomore Lamecca Jefferson, who was second on the team in kills and blocks and the team's Newcomer of the Year.
"We expect to have a much better season than last year," Jefferson said. "We have worked hard in the off-season. We are faster and stronger and we are ready to play.
"This weekend in Texas is about establishing a commitment to success," Diaz added. "There is a new standard on our team: we have raised our expectations, and will not settle for anything but the best."
Melinda Finley, one of just two seniors on the team, agrees that the Bobcat Classic is an opportunity to show their opponents that the Falcons will be a force to be reckoned with this season.
"We are ready to win this tournament and show the conference what we have," Finley said.