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UAlbany Volleyball Starts 2013 Season in Los Angeles

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UAlbany Volleyball Starts 2013 Season in Los Angeles

Game Notes | Watch All Matches Live

LOS ANGELES – The Great Danes will begin the 2013 season on the other side of the country, competing in the Los Angeles Westside Invitational.  They will begin the first of four in-season tournaments at the Albert Gersten Pavilion, home of Loyola Marymount University.

UAlbany will begin the season with a match against UCLA, ranked #12 in the AVCA, on Friday at 7 p.m. (4 p.m. PT).  Then on Saturday, the team faces tournament host Loyola Marymount at 3 p.m. ET (12 p.m. PT) and later North Texas at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT).  This will be the first-ever match between UAlbany and each of its three opponents.

Loyola Marymount will broadcast all matches of the tournament online for free on LMULions.com.

A pair of players that earned all-conference awards return for the 2013 campaign.  America East Defensive Player of the Year Viktoriia Stroilo, who had 560 digs as the libero last season, and All-Rookie Team member Tatum Jungsten, who finished with 70 blocks and 120 kills, both return.

UAlbany’s leading returner in kills is junior Samantha Brostrom, who notched 163 kills in 60 sets.  The team also adds nine newcomers, including eight freshmen.  In all the team consists of 13 players, hailing from six different countries and seven different states.

UCLA went 23-8 overall last season and finished tied for fourth place in the Pac-12 Conference, falling in the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament to Michigan State.  The top returning hitter for the Bruins is junior Karsta Lowe, who hit .323 for 170 kills.  In the middle, junior Zoe Nightingale led the team last season with 152 blocks, adding 164 kills.

Loyola Marymount fell in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to Western Kentucky to finish 18-13 and 8-8 in the West Coast Conference.  Lions senior Kathleen Luft was named to the Preseason All-WCC Team after hitting .261 with 474 kills and 210 digs.  Junior middle blocker Litara Keil concluded 2012 with a .309 hitting percentage, 356 kills, 118 blocks and 150 digs.

North Texas is in its first year in Conference USA, going 26-12 overall and 9-5 in the Sun Belt in 2012.  The Mean Green’s two top hitters both earned C-USA Preseason status: Sophomore outside hitter Carnae Dillard had 552 kills and 29 service aces last year, while senior outside Courtney Windham had a team-best 170 blocks, hitting .305 with 414 kills.

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