Clan volleyball kicks off 2019 season with trip to Utah

With coaching staff now finalized, SFU volleyball goes 2–2 in the Dixie State Classic

SFU volleyball at the Dixie State Classic in St. George, Utah - Photo credit / SFU athletics

By: Dylan Webb, Sports editor

This weekend, The SFU volleyball team completed the first of two away tournaments that comprised their 2019 pre-season schedule with a solid showing in St. George, UT. In game one against the tournament host, Dixie State, the Clan won in straight sets aided by 15 kills from Tamara Clarke. 

Their other win was also in straight sets over Colorado Christian University with Betsie de Beers leading the way with 11 kills on 25 attempts. The team also lost 3–2 to Stanislaus State on Friday and 3–1 to St. Cloud State the next day. Having sandwiched two losses in between these solid wins in the season opening tournament, the team will now head to California for the NCAA D2 West Region Volleyball showcase in San Bernardino. 

These two road trips to start the year will hopefully support the integration of the new recruits and develop some team chemistry before the home opener on September 19 at 7 p.m. against Central Washington University. The hype is building for the opener as it has been dubbed ‘the Red Night Cup Cake Festival & T-shirt Giveaway,’ with goodies baked by the SFU Student Athlete Advisory Committee and t-shirts branded with the new SFU logo to be given away to fans at the game. 

As head coach Gina Schmidt prepares for her seventh season leading Clan volleyball from the bench, a few additions to the coaching staff have solidified the teams’ personnel for the season. Former star player Tessa May, who played as recently as last season as GNAC All-Conference First Team for the Clan, will join lead assistant Mengdi Cao alongside returning assistants Ben Ta and Matthew Armstrong. 

This coaching staff will have to deal with relatively high expectations for this season as a pre-season coaches poll tabbed SFU to finish fourth in the GNAC while the team also looks to extend a five season streak of at least 15 wins to six. Veterans Julia Tays and Betsie de Beers, recently named to the GNAC Preseason All Conference Team, will be vital in the team’s drive to, once again, win at least 15 games in 2019.