The Southern Utah volleyball team recently wrapped up their spring season, competing against teams like UNLV and Utah Valley. The 2019 season is quickly approaching and head coach Pete Hoyer and his staff are looking forward to competing in the Big Sky after watching their team improve both on and off the court.
Q: What aspects of spring ball got you excited for the upcoming 2019 season?
A: Our team culture has improved drastically. We saw mindset shifts, personal bests in the weight room and all around better volleyball. We brought in Kayla Dowler and Shannon Webb who are two young women who know how to win. They challenged some of our current group in ways that only made them better. Leaders stepped up to the plate in ways we haven’t seen before. With the core group we have established now, I am really excited to see how they get the new-comers in the boat and start rowing together (the team has been reading The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown).
Q: What are you hoping to accomplish during non-conference play?
A: We have a tough non-conference schedule this year, but that’s how we will be able to know where everyone fits within our line-up. No spot is set right now, and once we bring in the six more in July, the competition for each spot will rise even more. Our travel trips include great teams. To be able to play St. Mary’s who finished well in the NCAA tournament, Boston College a power-five school, a well coached Utah State team and multiple California teams will only elevate our level of play. Though, we are most excited for our home tournament. It gives the fans some more home games to attend and lets our team play at home before opening Big Sky play.
Q: How do you expect the transition of faces to fair during Big Sky play this season?
A: We worked very hard in our recruiting to bring in athleticism and diversity. The six coming in can jump high, hit hard and have a high volleyball IQ. By adding them to the mix we have established this spring will be interesting as you never know how freshmen are going to fair to the adjustment of Division I play. Either way, we are looking forward to competing in the conference and building our program.
The Thunderbirds will open the 2019 season in Logan, Utah where they will compete in the Utah State Tournament playing Xavier, Eastern Michigan and Utah State (August 30-31). The Thunderbirds will open their Big Sky Conference competition at home against Idaho State on September 26, then meet conference rivals Weber State at home on September 28 (homecoming weekend).
Tickets for SUU Volleyball’s home opener on September 5, 2019 against St. Mary’s are available at tbirdtickets.com or the America First Event Center Ticket Office. Fans can also purchase a Women’s Sports Pass for access to all 2019 regular season home matches.
Stay up to date during the 2019 Southern Utah Volleyball season by following @SUUVolleyball on Twitter and Instagram and liking the Southern Utah Volleyball page on Facebook.
Story and Photo Courtesy of: SUU Athletics Strategic Communication