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Aug. 21, 1997

Texas Tech Volleyball Prepares for Season Opener

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech volleyball team will compete in its final preseason scrimmage at the Women's Gym on the Texas Tech University campus Saturday beginning at 2:00 p.m.

Head coach Jeff Nelson is looking to fine-tune his Red Raiders in preparation for the team's first tournament, the Sheraton Shootout, August 29-30 at Lubbock Municipal Coliseum. Tech will host four teams in the 10-match invitational including Texas-San Antonio, Portland, SMU and Ohio. Admission is free for the final two games on Saturday, August 30, Texas-San Antonio vs. SMU (5 p.m.) and Texas Tech vs. Ohio (7 p.m.).

"It's a tournament we can win if we play well," said Nelson who guided his team to a 25-9 record and sixth place finish (12-8) in the Big XII Conference last year. "We're working on our consistency right now and getting prepared for our first competition."

Texas Tech first plays Texas-San Antonio at noon on Friday and then hosts Portland in the evening contest at 7 p.m. The Red Raiders finish up tournament action Saturday with a match against SMU at noon and a 7 p.m. match against Ohio. It is the first-ever Sheraton Volleyball Shootout.

The Red Raiders begin the season ranked No. 36 in the AVCA/USA Today Coaches' Top 25 poll. Considering the rankings from the AVCA/USA Today national poll, Tech would rank sixth among Big XII Conference and sixth among Region V schools.

In other news, senior outside hitter Cristine Martin's appeal for a fifth year of eligibility has been denied by the NCAA. According to Nelson, a second appeal is in the process of being submitted to the NCAA.

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