Special to the E-T

Tarleton Sports Information

OMAHA, Neb. – The Tarleton TexAnn volleyball team kicks off the 2009 season at the UNO Showcase hosted by Nebraska-Omaha on Aug. 28-29.

The TexAnns face UNO on Friday at 10 a.m. in their season opener and will follow with an afternoon match against Minnesota State-Mankato at 2:30 p.m. On Saturday, Tarleton takes on No. 9 Truman State at 11:45 a.m. and concludes the tournament against a familiar foe in Dallas Baptist at 4:15 p.m.

Head coach Mary Domine Schindler welcomes back nine letterwinners and three starters (plus libero), including three All-Lone Star Conference selections from last season’s squad, which made its third-consecutive trip to the LSC Postseason Tournament. The team finished 2008 at 22-10 overall, tying a school record for most wins in a season.

Top returners for coach Schindler include senior middle blocker and First Team All-LSC honoree Shay Gracy (108 total blocks, 0.94 blocks per set); junior libero and Honorable Mention All-LSC honoree Shea McBrearty (school record 489 digs, 4.11 digs per set) and sophomore setter and Honorable Mention All-LSC honoree Jessie Hartman (737 assists, 6.19 assists per set). Also returning this season are seniors Danielle Perkins (S, 439 assists) and Gina Galitski (L, 4 digs), as well as juniors Rachel Wolf (OH, 193 kills), Catherine Cutbirth (OH, 135 kills), Kendall Hansen (OH, 36 kills) and Margaret Luedecke (OH, 85 digs). Joining the TexAnns in 2009 is junior transfer Erin Lynn (MB/RS, New Mexico State; sophomore transfer Monica Hamel (MB, San Jacinto JC); and freshmen Ebony Bryd (MB, Madisonville HS), Kelsi McLaren (RS, Texas City HS), Morgan Wallace (OH, Klein Oak HS) and Christi Lee Coles (DS, San Angelo Central HS).

The TexAnns finished the season ranked 38th in the nation in digs per set (16.89), 74th in hitting percentage (0.210), 76th in assists per set (11.2) and 80th in kills per set (12.24). Gracy finished 2008 ranked 85th in the nation in blocks per set at 0.94 bps, while McBrearty finished ranked 95th in digs per set at 4.11 dps.