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Volleyball Opens Spring Season on Saturday

March 22, 2012
Courtesy: Texas A&M Athletics
(photo: Texas A&M Athletics)
COLLEGE STATION, Texas - The Texas A&M volleyball team will play its first of three spring exhibition tournaments on Saturday as the Aggies compete in the Texas State Tournament at Strahan Coliseum in San Marcos.

Admission is free.

The Aggies are slated to play four matches at the one-day tournament, beginning with a 10 a.m. match against Lamar. At 11 a.m., A&M faces Texas-San Antonio, followed by a 12:30 p.m. contest against St. Edwards. The Aggies conclude the tournament against the host Bobcats at 1:30 p.m.

Laurie Corbelli, who is entering her 20th season as head coach of the Aggies, is eager see her team compete against the tournament field.

"We are very ready," she said. "It is so nice to compete and break up the training somewhat. It helps the players update where they stand in terms of their goals and really work to achieve their goals and then refine them and go at it again next weekend against top college team. It is also a coach's dream, the time of year when we get a chance to take more risks than normal in terms of our lineup, and the team is completely prepared to understand that they are being evaluated and graded on, No. 1, the mentality that they bring, and No. 2, the execution. And those are our two main focuses in the spring.

"Obviously the spring gives us a lot of time to make our players better volleyball players all the way around. Tons of repetitions and also presenting situations that we tend to struggle with. Just the learning process is a focus. We have 12 returners, so we've been able to have some real competitive practices in terms of 6-on-6. Many times in the spring you maybe have only seven to 10 players, so we have been fortunate we've been able to cover a plethora of areas and skills of the game.

"I'm also challenging the team to be more consistent competitors, bring more competitive spirit, competitive attitude, competitive swagger. It is a great time to focus on these things going into the SEC, kind of get a chance to change a few things, and we are really working hard to identify the things that need to change to make us better and then go for it."

A&M will compete in two other tournaments during the spring, playing at the at F.A.S.T. Tournament at Reliant Center in Houston on March 31 and at the College Showcase, to be held at the Dallas Convention Center on April 21.

The Aggies return four starters plus the libero from the 2011 squad that finished 23-8 after advancing to the NCAA Championship second round.

Note: Reservations are still being accepted for the Texas A&M Volleyball Annual Awards Banquet to be held Sunday, April 22 at the Zone Club at Kyle Field beginning at 1 p.m. The public is invited to attend. Banquet tickets are $20 each and include lunch. Parking will be available in Lot 62 in front of Kyle Field. Those wishing to attend should RSVP by Friday, April 6 by contacting Kelly Stumph at kstumph@athletics.tamu.edu.

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