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Web Extra: Lady Buffs Begin Volleyball Season
#10 Lady Buffs Host ThunderWolves in 2013 Season Opener
CANYON, Texas – The defending South Central Regional Champion Lady Buffs of West Texas A&M enter the 2013 season ranked #10 by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and they will host the ThunderWolves of Colorado State-Pueblo on Thursday, September 5th at the WTAMU Fieldhouse "The Box" in Canyon.
#10 WEST TEXAS A&M - The #10 Lady Buffs enter the 2013 season with the usual high-expectations of being one of the top programs in all of NCAA Division II Volleyball. WT returns just two starters from a 2012 team that claimed the program's 14th overall and seventh consecutive LSC Tournament Title before winning the South Central Regional Championship for the 12th time in school history. Five senior starters are gone from the roster, but 2013 looks to be another great year for the Lady Buffs with a roster of 23 student-athletes with six returners. The Lady Buffs are guided by fifth year Jason Skoch, who enters the season with an overall record of 133-21 (.863) in Canyon with four NCAA Postseason appearances including two Elite Eights and a National Runner-Up finish in 2009.
RETURNERS - WT will be led by returning starters Halie Harton and Laura Iwuchukwu, Harton led the team in kills last season with 423 while Iwuchukwu had a breakout 2012, registering 124 total blocks to average 1.16 per set to rank second on the team and in the Top-20 nationally. Also returning are Kameryn Hayes, Keia Strother, Morgan Woodruff and Lexi Davis.
YOUNG GUNS - The Lady Buffs will rely on youth to continue the storied tradition of the program, 15 of the 23 student-athletes on the roster are freshman or sophomores and only six of the 23 players have seen time on the court for WT during their careers. WT's roster boasts five junior college transfers.
CSU-PUEBLO - The ThunderWolves return a majority of their 2012 team that finished the season with an overall record of 15-15, just missing the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) Tournament. CSU-Pueblo is led by third year head coach Jen Gomez, boasting an overall record of 30-28 during her two seasons. Gomez, formerly Jen Salmans, played for Pueblo from 1998-99 where she was All-RMAC selection and the institution's Female Athlete of the Year in 2000.
THE SERIES - The 2013 season opener will mark the first ever meeting between the Lady Buffs and Colorado State-Pueblo.
LIVE COVERAGE - The West Texas A&M Athletic Media Relations Department will provide live stats for the match along with a free video webstream that can be viewed on mobile devices. For links, please visit the Lady Buff Volleyball schedule page at GoBuffsGo.com.
HOME SWEET HOME - The WTAMU Fielhouse "The Box" boasts one of the most successful home-court advantages in the history of NCAA DIvision II volleyball. The Lady Buffs are an incredible 399-59 in the friendly confines of The Box, that's a winning percentage of over 87% dating back to 1980.
SEASON OPENER - The Lady Buffs are no-stranger to starting off the season on a high-note, WT is 28-5 all-time in season opening games including an impressive 24-1 when the Lady Buffs open-up the season at home. The lone loss came last season as WT fell to Adams State in four sets during the Lady Buff Classic.