Volleyball fires up this weekend at the Louisville Invitational

Aug. 24, 2006

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - The JU volleyball team starts its 2006 season off with a bang this weekend at the Louisville Invitational, taking on Missouri-Kansas City, host and 12th ranked Louisville along with Jacksonville State, starting Friday.

It will be the beginning of a new era in Dolphin volleyball as it is the first match for new head coach Shaun Kupferberg, with a roster that features only three players who started a match last season.

"The first tournament of the year is always a litmus test to determine how well our practice activities have transferred to game situations," Kupferberg said. "As a coaching staff we are always focusing on that particular issue."

The Dolphins open the tournament against Missouri-Kansas City on Friday before a doubleheader against the Cardinals and JSU on Saturday.

The match against Louisville on Saturday will be shown tape delayed on locally in Louisville on WHAS-11. The televised contest marks the first time the Dolphins have been on TV since the 2004 Atlantic Sun Championship game.

"Playing a top 25 team like Louisville is great for our program, but to have the game broadcast brings an even greater level of exposure to the school," Kupferberg said. "We are excited about this opportunity and look forward to the challenge of playing a nationally ranked team on TV."

Jacksonville is looking to get off to a good start for the first time in a while. A year ago, JU won just once in its first 10 matches while two years ago, the Dolphins dropped their first seven to start the season.

"We have been improving consistently throughout the preseason and we are all excited to see what we can do against live competition," Kupferberg said. "We'll be facing some of the best this weekend so they will give us a better idea of where we are now, and where we want to be in three months."