March 7, 2013
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ----- UAB sand volleyball returns this weekend when head coach Hal Messersmith’s squad entertains Mercer and Tulane at the UAB Sand Volleyball Courts.
The Blazers open the 2013 season against Mercer at Noon CT on Saturday, followed by a 1 p.m. CT match against Tulane on Sunday. Mercer and Tulane will also play each other following the Bears’ contest against UAB.
Fans are invited to tailgate before Saturday’s action in the designated tailgate spot in the parking lot that is connected to the sand courts and the West Campus Fields.
As part of UAB Athletics Championship Culture initiative, there will be free Full Moon Barbecue for all athletics staff members who attend Saturday’s match.
“We are excited to begin the second season of sand volleyball at UAB,” Messersmith said. “We had great support last season, and look for the same from our fans as we host five home matches this year.”
UAB comes into 2013 after a 6-4 finish in its inaugural season. Former Blazer Heather Thomas teamed with current starter Kirsten Gallagher to advance all the way to the championship bracket of the first-ever AVCA Sand Volleyball Pairs Championship.
Gallagher is back for her senior season and is joined by 11 letterwinners from last year’s team. The Blazers also added depth this year with the addition of newcomers Bethanie Thomas, Sarah Rishell and Emma Schroer.
“I think we have improved over the course of the last year,” added Messersmith. “It helps to have one year of experience under everyone’s belt, but we have also added some depth, which will allow us be a real competitive team.”
This weekend’s action kicks off the 2013 season that will run all the way to the AVCA National Championships on May 3-5.
Over the next two months, UAB will play at four tournaments and will host home contests against ULM on April 4 North Florida on April 6 and 7.
Fans can follow sand volleyball all season long by visiting the team’s Facebook page (UAB Volleyball).