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Aug. 15, 1997

Texas Tech Volleyball Conducts First Scrimmage

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech volleyball team will hold its first two intrasquad scrimmages Saturday at 9:30 a.m. and at 4:00 p.m. in the Women's Gym on the Texas Tech University campus. The gereral public is invited for both scrimmages.

The scrimmages will be the first chance for fans to see the team for the first time, along with its newcomers.

"It'll be a chance to see our eight new players," Texas Tech head volleyball coach Jeff Nelson said. "We'll try a lot of different lineups and check some different things out."

Tech will enter the season ranked No. 36 in the nation by the AVCA/USA Today volleyball coaches' poll. The Red Raiders are one of six Big XII Conference teams ranked among the top 50 schools in the nation. Last year, Nelson led the Raiders to a 25-9 (12-8 Big XII) record along with their second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth and 20-win season.

The 1997 Red Raiders return three starters including junior setter Lisa Hilgers (5-6), senior middle blocker Brande Brown (5-10) and junior outside hitter Kristen Holmes (5-9). Other key returnees include junior outside hitter Angela Cooper (6-1), junior middle blocker Sonia Moric (6-0), junior defensive specialist Kim Breitbach (5-5) and sophomore outside hitter Heather Fife-Berres (5-8). Freshman outside hitter Heather Hughes (5-10) is expected to make an immediate impact, along with redshirt freshman middle blocker Janelle Jones (6-3), sophomore outside hitter Courtney Putnam (6-1) and Samford transfer outside hitter Natalie Rives (6-0).

The team is still awaiting a decision from the NCAA regarding senior outside hitter Cristine Martin's fifth year of eligibility. Martin was a medical redshirt as a freshman after undergoing two arthroscopic knee surgeries.

The Red Raiders begin their season on August 29 and 30 with the first-ever Sheraton Shootout Volleyball Classic. Tech will host four teams in the 10-match invitational including Texas San-Antonio, Portland, SMU and Ohio.

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