A&M Volleyball Opens Practice Thursday

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COLLEGE STATION -- The Texas A&M volleyball team holds its first official preseason practice session Thursday at G. Rollie White Coliseum. The Aggies will participate in two 3-hour training sessions, going from 9 a.m. to noon and then again from 2-5 p.m.

Practices are open to the public.

Laurie Corbelli, entering her 15th season as head coach of the Aggies, returns a young but experienced group of 10 letterwinners, including four starters plus the libero from last year’s team that went 12-16 overall. She also welcomes three talented newcomers, including sophomore setter transfer Kristen Schevikhoven and junior middle blocker transfer Darla Donaldson, who are both expected to compete immediately for starting roles.

“I am excited and looking forward to welcoming our talented and eager group of athletes,” Corbelli said. “They have been working hard on their strength and conditioning all summer long, and I guarantee they can't wait to get back in the gym for some volleyball.

“With a new season comes a fresh, new outlook for us all, including slight changes as to how we go about our business. I anticipate that the team will welcome new strategies that we plan to implement into our offense as we added additional firepower, size and smarts with our incoming Aggies. We are delighted to be back into our competitive mode.”

A&M is picked to finish fourth in the Big 12 according to a vote of the league coaches. The Aggies tied for eighth last season with a 5-15 mark after being hampered by injuries.

Defending national champion Nebraska is the runaway favorite to repeat as Big 12 champion. Texas is picked to finish second, with Missouri, Texas A&M and Colorado completing the top five spots. Iowa State was picked sixth with Kansas State, Baylor, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas Tech rounding out the poll.

A&M opens the season August 24 against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at the Texas A&M Invitational. Match time is 7 p.m. at G. Rollie White Coliseum. The Aggies open Big 12 play Wednesday, Sept. 12 at home against Oklahoma. The Sooners placed second in the league last year.

Tickets to all A&M home matches can be purchased online at 12thmanfoundation.com or by calling the Athletic Ticket Office at 1-888-99-AGGIE.