The Lee volleyball team will officially open the 2011 season tonight, hosting Milligan College at 7 p.m. in Walker Arena.
After another semifinal finish in the 2010 NAIA National tournament, coach Andrea Hudson, who is ranked among the top five in NAIA coaching wins, has a solid class of seniors ready for action. On the other hand, Milligan hosted its own tournament this past weekend and finished 1-3.
The Lady Flames have been slowed by injuries during preseason workouts. “(Sophomore outside hitter) Rachael Cunningham had a reoccurring injury during preseason,” said Hudson. “However she may be ready to go tomorrow night. (Senior outside hitter) Arlene (Ferreira, a first team All-American who had to undergo knee surgery during the offseason) should be released later this week and we hope to have her back playing next week. Courtney Culbreath (senior outside hitter) will not be released to play until sometime in September.”
Lee scrimmaged Carson-Newman last Friday and then travel to Tusculum (Greenville) on Saturday for another workout.” I was pleased with our progress through our first two scrimmages,” added the coach. “Both scrimmages were very competitive and we decided to play five games in each match to give the girls some playing time.
“We have had a chance to see what our weaknesses are at this point and work from there,” she pointed out. “We also know a little about what our strengths are as well, and we are going to try and capitalize on those.”
After Tuesday’s match with Milligan, the Lady Flames will remain at home, facing Alabama-Huntsville on Sept. 6, and then hosting the Lee Invitational on Sept. 9-10. All eyes will be focused on the Invitational. Texas-Brownsville is ranked fourth in the NAIA preseason poll and the Lady Flames are third. The two powerhouses are scheduled to collide at 2 p.m. on Sept. 9.