ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville volleyball opens the 2014 season this weekend at the Big Orange Bash at Clemson. Asheville is scheduled to play three matches, two on Friday and one on Saturday.
Frederico Santos’ club faces USC Upstate on Friday at 11 a.m., followed by a match with Troy at 5 p.m. The Bulldogs battle Clemson on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Asheville has a young team this year with no seniors on its roster. The Bulldogs have seven freshman on this year’s club.
“We have a young team this season, but we’re talented,” explained Santos. “I like the leadership of our upper classman and we’ve worked very hard from the first day of preseason. We’ve made a lot of progress and anxious to get the season started.
Asheville faced USC Upstate last year at home and won 3-1. The Bulldogs played Troy in the 2011 season with the Blue & White winning in five sets. Saturday’s match against Clemson will be the first time the teams have played since the 1994 season with the Tigers winning 3-0.
“This is a good tournament for us weekend,” commented Santos. “These will be three tough matches that will present different challenges each time out. We just want to get better with each point, each set and each match.”
UNC Asheville was 5-5 in neutral matches last season. The Bulldogs went 4-7 in enemy territory in 2013.
Junior outside hitter Christine Lakatos returns for the Blue & White. She led Asheville and was third in the Big South kills per set last year with a 3.43 mark.
Junior setter Katie Davis was second in the Big South in assists in 2013 with a 10.08 mark.
Head Coach Frederico Santos needs 10 wins for 100 career victories. He is 90-79 in six years of coach and 44-48 at Asheville.
The Bulldogs have won their last three matches against ACC opponents, picking up wins vs. N.C. State in 2009 and 2010 and defeating Boston College in 2013.