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Tech Volleyball Ready For Season Opener




Aug. 28, 2000

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    The Texas Tech volleyball team will head to South Carolina to open the 2000 season in the South Carolina Gamecock Tournament. In the tournanment, Tech will face-off against host South Carolina along with Xavier, Duke and Liberty. SOUTH CAROLINA: The Gamecocks finished the 1999 season with a 14-12 record and failed to make the NCAA tournament. The Gamecocks are coached by Kim Christopher who is 138-80 in seven years at the helm. Christopher is a 1982 graduate of Texas Tech. The team returns four starters and 10 letterwinners. LIBERTY: The Liberty Flames finished the 1999 season with a 22-10 record and made the first round of the NCAA tournament as champions of the Big South Conference. The Flames are coached by Chris Phillips who is 123-115 in seven years at Liberty. Liberty returns three starters and seven letterwinners from last year's squad. XAVIER: The Xavier Musketeers finished the 1999 season with a 23-8 record and claimed the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship. The Musketeers are coached by Floyd Deaton who is 212-129 in 10 years as head coach at Xavier. DUKE: The Duke Blue Devils finished the 1999 season with a 13-14 record and a 7-9 record in ACC play. The Blue Devils are coached by Jolene Nagel who is 13-14 at Duke after completing her first season last year.

    Following the South Carolina Tournament in Columbia, S.C., the Red Raiders will travel directly to Fort Worth, Texas to battle the Texas Christian Horned Frogs on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. Texas Tech will return home on Wednesday and begin preparations for the Red Raider Classic to be held Sept. 8-9 at the United Spirit Arena.


    Texas Tech and TCU will meet for just the second time in history when the two squads battle it out on the floor of Daniel-Meyer Coliseum. Although Texas Tech and TCU were both members of the Southwest Conference prior to 1996, TCU did not begin playing volleyball until after the demise of the SWC. The Horned Frogs finished the 1999 campaign with a 11-19 overall record and a 5-7 mark in WAC play. TCU returns four starter and eight letterwinners from last year's team. The Frogs are coached by Sandy Troudt who is 35-90 in four years at TCU.

    Toby Rens was named assistant coach in the Texas Tech Volleyball program this summer. Rens replaced Gregg Nunley who left the team following the 1999 season. Rens comes to Texas Tech will 11 years of coaching experience including the past two seasons as the head coach at Northern Michigan.

    Senior outside hitter and All-America candidate Colleen Smith returns to the Texas Tech line-up this season with one slight change. Last season, Smith played on the right side and was moved to the left during spring practice. According to head coach Jeff Nelson, the move was intended to get Smith more swings at the ball. Smith, a 6-7 product from Albuquerque, N.M., was second on the team last season with 358 kills.

    The song of choice for head coach Jeff Nelson may just be "God Bless Texas" by country group Little Texas. For the first time in his five year's as head coach at Texas Tech, Jeff Nelson signed an all-Texas recruiting class and what a class it is. Three of the five freshmen were first-team all-state selections in 1999 and one was recently named the National High School Coaches Association National Senior Girls Athlete of the Year (Laura Grote).

    The United Spirit Arena, a modern state of the art facility with a seating capacity of 15,050, opened in Novemeber of 1999. The arena is home to Red Raider and Lady Raider basketball along with Texas Tech volleyball, as well as commencement ceremonies, conferences, concerts and other events for Texas Tech students. Each of the three sports housed at United Spirit Arena- men's basketball, women's basketball and volleyball have everything they need at the arena including coaches' offices, lockerrooms, shower facilties, practice facilities, weight rooms and a training room. The arena also features an oversized media room complete with a satellite feed for television and a Texas Tech "Hall of History."



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