Golden Eagle 2010 outlook against Southeast Missouri State.
The Golden Eagle Huddle
Also back are three sophomores from last year’s squad including middle blocker Kelsey Gray. Gray led the Golden Eagle newcomers in kills with 198 last season and finished first on the team in total blocks with 122, which ranked fourth in the OVC. Tech will look to Gray to set the tone on the defensive side of the net. Setter Madison Comperry and middle block Katrina Dvorken also return for their sophomore seasons looking to build upon lessons learned in their freshmen campaigns. “We’re looking for them to step forward,” Blair said. “We’re looking to develop all four and hope to see some major progression this season.”
visits,” Blair said. Joining the coaching staff this season is graduate assistant coach Kelsey Murphy. A four-year setter at Clemson, Murphy will be another fine addition to the program and the Golden Eagles will benefit from her experience.
Tech brings in five new faces in setter Ashleigh Hancock, defensive specialist Allison May, outside hitter Natalie Penrod, setter Lauren Stiles and middle blocker Elizabeth Robertson.
“Kelsey has a strong recommendation from her coach, and we knew she would be a good fit for the program,” Blair said.
“The goal this off-season was to add depth at every position and we did that,” Blair said. “It’s an athletic group with broad experience and we’re hoping to have raised the beginning standard.”
Senior Leadership With four seniors on this year’s squad, Blair will look to them to provide the leadership for nine underclassmen. That group will be led by outside hitter Leah Meffert who was named to the preseason all-OVC first team.
With a solid group of returnees and a talented group of underclassmen, the Golden Eagles will look to challenge for another OVC title.
“We’re excited for all four of our seniors, “ Blair said. “We’re fortunate they’ve played their whole careers here. “We were in every match last season and they’ll remember those things and draw from them.” Meffert led the team in kills with 406 (3.62 kps), which ranked second in the conference. She also led the team in service aces and points with 28 and 463.5, respectively. Meffert recorded 22 double-doubles in kills and digs during the 2009 season, including a 22-dig performance against Tennessee State. She reached at least 10 kills in 25 of 28 matches last season. Senior setter Melanie Culp, who has been named the team captain for the 2010 season, served as the primary setter for the Golden Eagles in the 2009 season. Culp led the Golden Eagles with 1,107 (9.88 aps) assists, which ranked fourth in the OVC. She recorded four matches where she tallied 50 assists or more, including a careerhigh 62 against Southeast Missouri. She also finished third on the team in digs with 245. As Tech’s most experienced setter Culp will be counted on to run the offense. Tech also welcomes back two more student-athletes for their senior seasons in Marie Peddicord and Laura Pierce. Peddicord finished her 2009 season third on the team in kills with 224, including a careerhigh 17 against Murray State, and second in total blocks with 67. Pierce added 154 digs to her career totals including a career-high 15
Senior Marie Peddicord
2009 F TENNESSEE TECH VOLLEYBALL MEDIA GUIDE