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Troy Volleyball Opens Season at Southern Miss Invitational

Published 7:10pm Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Troy volleyball team opens its 2013 season on Friday when it travels to the Southern Miss Invitational. The four-team tournament features three teams that won 20 games a season ago, including the Trojans who are coming off a second place finish in the Sun Belt.

The Trojans will take on Stephen F. Austin on Friday at 3 p.m. before playing Southern Miss and Jackson State on Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively.

All three matches will be played at Reed Green Coliseum and live stats for all three will be available through SouthernMiss.com and can also be found at TroyTrojans.com. Live video will not be available.

Troy was picked to finish second again in the Sun Belt by the league’s 10 head coaches and returns eight letterwinners from a 2012 squad that went 21-12 overall and 10-5 in league play.

Senior setter Alexandra Alexander and sophomore outside hitter Blair Winston were each named to the Preseason All-Sun Belt team and are part of four starters that return from last year’s team.

Alexander led the Trojans and the Sun Belt with an 11.20 assists/set average last season during Sun Belt play. She is one of two seniors on the Trojan squad, joining libero Courtney Cohen, who enters the weekend just 210 digs shy of setting the Troy career record.

Cohen posted a school-record 563 digs a season ago and enters the weekend with 1,519 in her career, the fifth most in the Sun Belt’s rally-scoring era.

Troy will face a tough opponent in its first match as Stephen F. Austin returns nine letterwinners from a squad that went 22-12 in 2012. The Ladyjacks were picked to finish third in the Southland this year by the league’s head coaches after finishing fourth a season ago.

Troy is 0-1 against Stephen F. Austin with the lone meeting coming in 2006 on a neutral court in Ruston, La.

Tournament host Southern Miss is coming off of an 8-20 season in 2012 that saw the Golden Eagles finish 10th in Conference USA with a 4-12 league record. Southern Miss returns 11 letterwinners from that team and was picked to finish 11th in 2013.

Troy is 3-3 against Southern Miss with the last meeting coming in 2006. Troy is 1-2 against the Golden Eagles in Hattiesburg, including the most recent meeting between the two, a five-set win by Southern Miss.

Jackson State was an NCAA Tournament participant a year ago after going 24-12, including an 8-0 mark in SWAC play. The Lady Tigers return eight letterwinners from that team and have been picked to win the league again this year.

Troy is 3-0 against Jackson State, including a three-game sweep in Troy last season. The Trojans are 2-0 against the Lady Tigers on a neutral court.

After the three matches this weekend, the Trojans return to Troy for their home opener on Monday as Georgia Southern visits Trojan Arena. The Trojans and Eagles will begin their Labor Day matchup at 2 p.m. and the match will mark the Trojans first inside Trojan Arena.

For results and recaps throughout the weekend, visit TroyTrojans.com. Fans can also find Troy on Twitter and Instagram at @TroyAthletics or on Facebook at Facebook.com/TroyAthletics.

Via Troy Athletics

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