Volleyball See Progress, Room For Improvement In Saturday's Scrimmage

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. ---- The Samford University volleyball team played a full five-set scrimmage Saturday as it got its first taste of live action of the season. The Bulldogs worked out for two and one-half hours, battling in red and blue teams coached by assistant coaches Reggie Cajayon and Kilee Goetz.

"The first time to see our young team in action was exciting," Samford head coach Derek Schroeder said. "We knew we had a number of areas to improve on and can now grade some performances and move forward."

The Red team - Sheriden Stangohr, Hillary Fountain, Samantha Bland, Alexis Bauer, Taylor Chao, Katie Weber and Elizabeth Neisler - defeated the Blue team - Casey Garvey, Rachel Gadberry, Allie Bettinger, Alicia Roth, Katie Luckman, Sarah Gardner and Shelby Brandon - by a score of 3-2 (21-25, 25-23, 25-22, 18-25, 15-13).

"Both setters, Hillary and Casey, did a nice job spreading the ball and staying in tempo with our offense," Schroeder said. "Our middle blockers, Sheriden and Rachel, both transitioned very well and captained our block."

The Bulldogs kick off the 2009 season next weekend at home when they host the annual Samford Tournament. They will play host to Southern Miss, Tennessee State and ULM. Tournament play starts on Friday afternoon as Southern Miss and Tennessee State face off at 4:30 p.m. Samford will then play its first match of the season at 7 p.m., when it meets up with ULM.

Action Saturday begins at 11 a.m. with Samford taking on Southern Miss before Tennessee State and ULM match up at 1 p.m. The tournament will conclude with Southern Miss taking on ULM at 5 p.m. before Samford faces off with Tennessee State at 7 p.m.