Troy Volleyball, Soccer set for 2023 season

Published 10:24 am Monday, August 14, 2023

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The Troy Trojans Volleyball and Soccer teams will open up the 2023 season this week.

The volleyball squad opens the season with an exhibition match at home on Aug. 15 at 2 p.m. against Jacksonville State. Jacksonville State is coming off a 24-6 season last year. Troy and Jacksonville State have a 13-13 record in the regular season against one another and last played in 2019.

The Trojans return a roster that features All-Sun Belt middle hitter Julia Brooks (340 kills, five aces, 21 digs, 92 blocks) and All-Sun Belt outside hitter Tori Hester (522 kills, 14 assists, 42 aces, 327 digs, 37 blocks). Sophomore outside hitter Amiah Butler also finished 2022 with more than 300 kills.

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Following the season-opening exhibition, the volleyball squad will hit the road for a grueling eight-match stretch on the road with matchups against the likes of Louisville, Wright State, Washington State, Miami (Fla.), South Carolina, Western Kentucky, Charleston and Arkansas. Troy won’t return home until hosting Alabama on Sept. 14.

The Troy soccer team has hosted a pair of exhibition games against Middle Georgia State and UAB in the preseason. The Trojans will officially open the season this Thursday, Aug. 17, against Lipscomb in Nashville, Tenn.

Under first-year head coach Stuart Gore, Troy returns just nine players from last year’s roster with 16 new faces on the roster. Among those returners is senior Jordan Stack, who led Troy with seven points – three goals and one assist – last season.

Among the new faces are a number of transfer players, including a trio that follow Gore from his previous school Northwestern State. Senior Jayme Haynes (Frisco, Tex.) comes to Troy after earning All-Southland Conference in 2021 and 2022. Her teammate at Northwestern State, senior Delaney Wells (Flower Mound, Tex.), earned First-Team All-Conference last season and scored four points on the season. Also coming from Northwestern State is senior Hallie Field (Frisco, Tex.), who also earned All-Conference honors in both 2022 and 2021. She tallied 11 points – with five goals – in 2022.

Transferring from Central Michigan is sophomore forward Dolce Villaflor (Mililiani, Hawaii), who played at IMG Academy before starting her college career. Also, transferring from Mississippi State is senior Olivia Simpson (Kingsland, Ga.).

Goalkeeper is a position that Trojan fans will be keeping a close eye on as All-Sun Belt goalie Lindsey LaRoche graduated last season. LaRoche played every single minute in the goal last season and was among the conference’s leaders in saves every year during her career. For help there, Gore looked to the transfer portal bringing in former UTEP goalie Stephenie Pereff (Tulsa, Okla.) and former Oklahoma goalie Une Hebnes Georgsen from Norway.

Georgsen appeared in five matches in the net in 2021, earning 11 saves but did not play in 2022. Pereff redshirted during her freshman season at UTEP but was a star soccer player at Union High School in Oklahoma. She was also her high school football team’s field goal kicker. Troy also returns Puerto Rico native Nittany Vega – who redshirted last season – at goalie along with incoming freshman Rubie Kelley (Dallas, Ga.). Kelley earned All-State honors three times in high school and broke her school’s single season saves record as a senior.

Troy Soccer, much like the volleyball team, will start the regular season off with a grueling road stretch. After facing Lipscomb in the season opener, the Trojans travel to Auburn on Aug. 20 and then head to Mobile to play tournament action at South Alabama against Kennesaw on Aug. 24 and Queens of Charlotte on Aug. 27. The Trojan finally open the regular season home slate against Alabama A&M on Aug. 31 at 7 p.m.