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Volleyball Begins Season at Flagler Invitational

Volleyball Begins Season at Flagler Invitational

SCHEDULE:
All games played at Flagler Gymnasium, 12 Granada St., St. Augustine, FL 32084

Saturday September 7 | 10:00 AM | vs. Southern Wesleyan
Saturday September 7 | 2:00 PM | vs. Shorter
Sunday September 8 | 2:00 PM | vs. Newberry
Sunday September 8 | 7:00 PM | vs. Flagler

TICKET PRICES:
$8 – Adults
$5 – Rollins Students
$5 – Seniors (65+)
$5 – Military Personnel
$5 – Youth (Age 10-17)
Free – Kids (Under 10)

EVENT COVERAGE:
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SET UP:
The Tars will open their 2019 season with a four-game tournament up I-95 in historic St. Augustine at the Flagler Saints Invitational. Hurricane Dorian moved the game days to Saturday and Sunday, with Rollins playing two games on each day. Things will kick off with matchups against Southern Wesleyan of the Conference Carolinas and Shorter College out of the Gulf South Conference. Sunday's games include matchups against Newberry from the Southern Athletic Conference and will wrap up with a battle with the host Flagler Saints, who represent the Peach Belt Conference.

TEAM PREVIEWS:

Rollins: Head Coach Mika Robinson will lead the Tars for the fourth season. Rollins struggled down the stretch last year with a tenth-place finish in the conference, but an influx of talent from transfers and incoming freshman have given the team high hopes for the season. The young Tars feature four juniors, five sophomores, and four freshmen. Leading the attack will be Candace Doxey, Harper Smith, Marlee Johnson as well as newcomers Abby Harbinson and Riley Spurlin. Last year's assist leader, Rebecca Kuehn, returns along with transfer Rachel Reeve to help set up the attack. The defense will be led by Adriane Griffith, Lex Yeager, Alondra Rodriguez and Erin Burke. The libero position will be held down by Jessika Linnemeyer and Charlie Durbin.

Southern Wesleyan: Head Coach Julia Reininga and the Warriors are coming off an 8-18 season and were selected to finish seventh in the Conference Carolinas preseason poll. OH Olivia Johnson is the player to watch for the Warriors. The junior was a 1st Team All-Conference selection last year after tallying 296 kills at a 17.5% clip to go along with 237 digs and 29 blocks. Senior Sarah Stone and incoming freshmen Kali Letcher and Johanna Philyaw are also players to watch.

Shorter: Zach Roschi will lead the Shorter Hawks in 2019. Shorter is coming off a 12-15 season, and have been chosen to finish 9th in the Gulf South Conference. Senior Annie Homan was the team leader in kills last year with 230 and 2.32 per set on average. Kendall Vondra was the top setter, totaling 495 assists on the year. Newcomers Lacee Glover and Annie Veldhuis will also look to make an impact.

Newberry: Ross Kessler in his second year at the helm for the Newberry Wolves. Following their 8-19 record last year, Newberry was selected to finish 11th in the SAC preseason poll. Zoe Dinkins is a defensive standout, who totaled 136 total blocks and averaged a conference best 1.37 blocks per set last season. Toni-Anne Whitlow, who led the team in kills last year with 270, will lead the attack.

Flagler: Matt Affolder has led the Flagler Saints since 2014, and helped them to a 12-15 record last year. They have been picked to finished fourth in the Peach Belt, but did receive one first place vote in the coaches poll. Junior Karlie Redfern is coming off a monster year that saw her tally 365 kills, 284 digs and 50 blocks. She was named 1st Team All-Conference and a AVCA DII All-South Region. Kayla Norelli led the Saints with 414 digs last year and returns for her senior season.

COACH QUOTE:

"We are really excited to get the season started this weekend. Our first couple of weeks of preseason were really productive, and we look forward to finally being able to face someone else across the net. Although young, the 2019 Tars are a talented and competitive group, and we believe our preseason tournaments are going to be a great springboard to propel us into conference play. This weekend will give us a great measurement of where we are currently and where we need to continue to grow. With a lot of new faces this fall, we have a lot of flexibility in lineups and matchups, which will be really fun for all of us."

NOTES:

  • Head Coach Mika Robinson enters her fourth season with the Tars, and 12th overall as a head coach. Robinson has a record of 194-151 over the course of 11 seasons.
  • This will be the 1st matchup between Rollins and Southern Wesleyan.
  • This will be the 2nd matchup between Rollins and Shorter. Rollins leads the all-time series 1-0.
  • This will be the 4th matchup between Rollins and Newberry. Rollins leads the all-time series 3-0.
  • This will be the 19th matchup between Rollins and Flagler. Rollins leads the all-time series 11-7.

NEXT UP:
The Tars will travel to Massachusetts to play in their second tournament of the year next weekend at the Bentley Invitational. They will play two games each on Friday September 13th and Saturday September 14th.

Fans can follow Tars volleyball all season long with live audio and video on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com, where the latest news, updates, and information on the Rollins volleyball team can also be accessed. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest #TARnation news by following Rollins Sports on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.