June 1, 2010
RUSTON - Coming off a year in which it recorded one of the biggest turnarounds in the country, the Louisiana Tech Lady Techster volleyball team released its 2010 schedule which is highlighted by 13 home matches and four tournaments.
Head coach Matt Sonnichsen and Co. won 15 matches last season - which was an 11-game improvement from the previous year - and maybe even more importantly developed a winning mentality along the way.
The 15 wins was also just one shy of equaling the total number that the program had won in its three previous seasons combined while its four Western Athletic Conference victories tied the program record and matched the total number over the previous five seasons combined.
With a roster that returns all but three players from last year's team, Sonnichsen said he is excited about the challenges his third year in Ruston will bring.
"Our players are looking forward to the 2010 season, viewing this as an opportunity to build upon our success in 2009," Sonnichsen said. "Our WAC schedule will allow us to play elite level regional completion while continuing some great in state rivalries.
"The WAC will be as demanding as ever with Hawaii coming off of a Final Four run, New Mexico State should have been in the NCAA tournament in 2009 and I know they will be motivated as never before, in addition to the always tough western teams of the WAC. Year in and year out, we have the toughest travel schedule in the conference, and we are looking forward to overcoming the challenge to have a great 2010 season."
The 2010 season begins four tournaments in the first four weekends of the season as the Lady Techster open play Aug. 27 and 28 at the Arkansas State tournament where they will face Northwestern State, Arkansas-Pine Bluff and the host Red Wolves.
The following weekend Tech will get a major test at the Texas Arlington tournament
where it will face the Lady Mavs as well as SEC foe Mississippi State and UALR.
After the home opener against Jackson State on Sept. 7, Tech will host its own tournament Sept. 10 and 11 with matches against Grambling State, Southeastern Louisiana and Centenary.
Conference play then begins Sept. 23 when the Lady Techsters host New Mexico State in the first of a 16-game Western Athletic Conference slate where each team plays a home-and-home. The Lady Techsters host annual Division I powerhouse and 2009 Final Four participant Hawaii on Oct. 3 at 3 p.m.
The WAC Tournament will be held Nov. 22-24 in the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas with the top six teams qualifying to participate in the event.
Tech returns 11 letter winners from last year, including five players who started at least 26 matches, including seniors Kara Jones, Bianca Bin, Kassia Pinto and Jennifer Goodwin and junior Nataliya Panova.