Roadrunners to begin season this weekend at Texas A&M Invitational
SAN ANTONIO — UTSA will get the 2014 season underway on the road when it makes the trek to College Station this weekend for the Texas A&M Invitational.
The Roadrunners, who received votes in the Preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 Poll, will open up the campaign at 12:30 p.m. on Friday with Tulane before squaring off with Iowa at 7:30 p.m. UTSA then will have a chance to avenge last year's NCAA Tournament first-round loss to Texas A&M at 3 p.m. the following day.
The Roadrunners are coming off a banner season, as they swept the Conference USA Regular Season and Tournament Championships in their first year in the league.
UTSA finished with a 24-8 overall record and 13-1 mark in C-USA play, which was the best season for 13th-year head coach Laura Neugebauer-Groff, who led the Birds to their fourth consecutive 20-win campaign.
The Roadrunners return five of their six starters and their libero from a year ago.
Preseason All-C-USA honoree Dajana Boskovic will lead the front line after averaging 3.14 kills per set (.298 pct.) and 0.83 blocks per frame as a freshman.
Leading the Roadrunners’ .272 hitting percentage last season was Jessica Waldrip, who dished out 10.53 assists per set (779). Waldrip joined Boskovic on the league's preseason squad.
Defensively, Annie Kunes ranked second in the conference (39th NCAA) last fall with 4.96 digs per frame, while Kylie Schott added 1.16 blocks per set, which was third in C-USA.
Tulane, which saw its season come to an end at the hands of the Roadrunners in the C-USA Tournament Championship match, returns Tea Juric and Annie Shurtz, who both earned spots on the Preseason All-American Athletic Conference team. The Green Wave were 28-4 in its final season as a member of C-USA.
Iowa will look to build off last year's 11-win season under the direction of first-year head coach Bond Shymansky.
Meanwhile, the host Aggies tied for sixth in the SEC with a record of 19-12 last fall. Texas A&M ended UTSA's season with a sweep in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.Click here for complete tournament notes.