Troy Volleyball features talented freshman class

Published 10:06 am Monday, July 10, 2023

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The Troy Trojans are heading into the 2023 volleyball season off the heels of their second consecutive postseason appearance – the first time in school history – and returns some of the top players in the Sun Belt, but also features a talented group of incoming freshmen.

Returning to Troy this season are leaders like senior Julia Brooks and junior Tori Hester. In 2022, Brooks broke the school record for career blocks along with once again earning All-Sun Belt honors. Brooks also set the career record for solo blocks and is on the verge of breaking the block assists record. Brooks also sits at No. 9 all-time in career kills.

Troy senior Julia Brooks surpassed 1,000 career kills in 2022. (Photo by Josh Boutwell)

Hester also earned All-Sun Belt honors last season. Troy, however, will have to replace the production from departing senior Amara Anderson, who broke the school’s all-time assist record last season. Other returning veterans include defensive specialist Jaci Mesa and outside hitter Amiah Butler.

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Troy’s group of incoming freshmen includes middle hitter Sydney Austin, middle hitter Audrey Worthington, setter Addison Kersting and outside hitter Emma Blaine.

Austin is a 6-foot-3-inch Flowery Branch, Ga., native that earned All-County, All-Region and All-State honors for Buford High School. As a senior, she tallied 364 kills as her team won the 7A State Championship and she was named both All-State and 7A All-Star. During her high school career, Austin tallied 764 kills and 110 aces and was a part of two state championship teams.

Worthington is a 6-foot-1-inch Blacklick, Oh., native, that earned All-State, All-Conference and All-District honors and tallied a school-record with 97 blocks as a junior. She ended her career with the most blocks in a career in school history.

Kersting tallied 440 kills, 548 digs and 1,150 assists during her career at Saint Charles High School in Missouri, also earning Conference Player of the year, All-District, All-Region and All-Conference.

Blaine is a 6-foot, O’Fallon, Mo., native that finished her career second all-time in school history at Howell-Central High School with 119 blocks in a season as a senior. Her career blocks also ranks fourth in school history.

Troy Volleyball opens up the 2023 season at home with an exhibition against Jacksonville State on Aug. 15 at Trojan Arena at 3 p.m. The Trojans will be on the road for the next eight matches. Troy will face Louisville, Washington State, Miami (Fla.), South Carolina and Arkansas during that stretch. Troy returns home for a showdown with Alabama on Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. in Trojan Arena.