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Sept. 4, 1997

Texas Tech Volleyball Will Compete in Weekend South Florida Tournament

LUBBOCK, Texas - The Texas Tech volleyball team will travel to Tampa, Fla. Thursday to compete in the South Florida volleyball tournament on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 12-13. Tech (4-0) will play three matches against the likes of No. 26 ranked South Florida (3-1), Georgia Southern (1-3) and Tennessee-Chattanooga (1-3).

Tech enters the tournament on a four-game winning streak after winning the Sheraton Shootout team championship in 13 games. Senior middle blocker Brande Brown led the Raiders as she was voted tournament Most Valuable Player. Three players earned all-tournament honors including junior setter Lisa Hilgers, sophomore outside hitter Courtney Putnam and junior outside hitter Angela Cooper.

"We had a good weekend and got the season off to a great start," said Tech volleyball coach Jeff Nelson, who surpassed 50 career victories last weekend. "We played a little bit nervous which was to be expected- we have almost all newcomers in the lineup so that's normal, but overall, we were extremely pleased with our performances."

With the four consecutive home victories, Tech improved five spots in the weekly USA Today/AVCA coaches' volleyball poll from No. 36 to No. 31. This weekend will prove to be Tech's first test as it will play No. 26 South Florida on Friday.

"We have a much tougher schedule this weekend," Nelson said. "We have Tennessee-Chattanooga who won 20 games last year and we have South Florida who was 27-5 and made it to the final sixteen last year. Things are going to pick up fast for us and we're excited about that. It will definitely be our first test of the season. The South Florida match is a really big match early on in terms of important matches for NCAAs. We're ready to roll and go out there and hopefully win a tournament."

Weekend South Florida Tournament Schedule 
(all times are Eastern Time on this chart)
Friday, Sept. 5, 1997:      Texas Tech vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga, 3:30 p.m.; 
                            Georgia Southern vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga, 5:30 p.m.; 
                            Texas Tech vs. South Florida, 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 6, 1997:    South Florida vs. Georgia Southern, 10:00 a.m.; 
                            South Florida vs. Tennessee-Chattanooga, 12:00 noon; 
                            Texas Tech vs. Georgia Southern, 2:00 p.m.

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