Aug. 23, 2012
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The UAB volleyball team is set to open the 2012 campaign with a trip to Murfreesboro, Tenn., to compete in the Blue Raider Bash. The tournament is set to begin Friday, with the Blazers taking on UTSA and host Middle Tennessee, prior to playing UC Davis and Furman on Saturday.
UAB (23-9, 13-7 C-USA)
UTSA (21-11, 14-2 WAC)
Middle Tennessee (21-12, 14-2 SBC)
UC Davis (21-10, 7-9 Big West)
Furman (21-9, 13-3 SoCON)
All five squads playing in Murfreesboro, Tenn., won 20 matches or more in 2011 and four out of five were picked to finish in the top four of their respected preseason conference polls.
Fri., Aug. 23
UAB vs. UTSA – 2:30 pm. CT
UAB at Middle Tennessee – 7:30 p.m. CT
Sat., Aug. 24
UAB vs. UC Davis – 10 a.m. CT
UAB vs. Furman – 3 p.m. CT
The 2012 UAB volleyball squad returns six starters, 10 letterwinners and 14 of 16 players off of last season’s squad. In total, UAB returns 93 percent of its offense and 95 percent of its blocking lead by senior middle blocker Sam Serley.
Former libero Heather Thomas, who was a three-year starter and all-time UAB leader in digs graduated last spring and is a key spot to fill in 2012.
Player to Watch: Sam Serley, MB
Serley is one of two Blazers to ever earn AVCA All-American honors on two occasions after averaging 2.43 kills per set, 1.31 blocks per set and hitting at a .351 average in 2011. Serley was also named to the All-C-USA Preseason Team earlier this month.
The Roadrunners, a future C-USA foe, were picked to finish third in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) after going 14-2 in league play. UTSA brings back a total of eight letterwinners and four starters.
Player To Watch: Whitney Walls, OH
Walls averaged 2.92 kills per set last season and hit for a .317 attacking percentage to earn all-conference honors. She was also named to the All-WAC Preseason Team.
MTSU is the lone Blue Raider Bash participant that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season, thanks in part to winning 14 league matches. However, MTSU brings back just one starter and six letterwinners.
Player to Watch: Ashley Adams, OH
Adams returns after an outstanding 2011 season in which she averaged 3.73 kills per set to lead the Blue Raiders. She hit at a .286 clip and averaged 0.72 blocks per stanza.
The Aggies finished 21-10 overall last year, which included a three-game sweep of UAB’s league foe Tulsa early in the 2011 season. UC Davis returns four starters and its libero as part of 11 total letterwinners back from a season ago.
Player to Watch: Caroline Mercado, L
Mercado was UC Davis’ leader in digs last season, totaling 475 for a per set average of 4.13. She also topped the team in service aces with 26 in 2011.
The Paladins welcome back 10 total letterwinners and four starters from a team that was edged out by Samford in advancing to the NCAA Tournament in 2011.
Player to Watch: Caroline Adams, OH
Adams connected for 2.29 kills per set last season, hitting at an impressive .323 clip. She also registered 0.87 blocks per set, featuring 86 total blocks for the season.