After three weeks of intense training and a 1600-mile journey across most of the country, the Stetson volleyball team will open its 2013 season this weekend at the UniWyo Wyoming Invitational in Laramie, Wyo.
The Hatters will face Drake in the tournament opener on Friday at 11 am (ET), followed by a 3:30 pm (ET) match against tournament host Wyoming. On Saturday, the Hatters will match-up against Montana State at 11 am (ET) before closing the weekend with a match against Idaho at 7 pm (ET).
Stetson will be facing Drake, Montana State, and Idaho all for the first time. The Hatters hosted Wyoming back in 2010 in game played at the Hollis Center after an electrical outage at the Edmunds Center made the Hatters' home court temporarily unavailable.
Head Coach Tim Loesch, who begins his third season with the program, says one of the keys to the team's success will be how well they run the offense.
"One of the big challenges for this team is to be a better attacking team, and if we can receive serve well, then we can do that," Loesch said. "We have been working a lot on that this preseason so hopefully we will see a strong start in that regard."
"I am so excited to play in my first college game, and at Wyoming at that," freshman Madison Akins said. "It is just going to be an amazing experience. I am nervous but I am very excited to be able to play on a team with such great athletes, and to be able to experience all that I haven't."
Live stats for all tournament matches will be available through the University of Wyoming athletics website. Wyoming will also be providing a free live video stream of all its matches, including Friday afternoon's contest vs. Stetson.
Fans can also get in-game updates all season long by following the team's twitter account, @StetsonVB, or by signing up for the Hat-Alerts text messaging service.