Aug. 8, 2006
Moraga, CA - The Saint Mary's volleyball team reports to training camp today. The 10 returning players and four newcomers are set to begin the process of returning to their fourth straight NCAA appearance.
In the West Coast Conference pre-season coaches poll the Gaels were picked to finish 4th.
Among the players reporting for camp are seniors Mandy Bible, Christina Kirk and Cassandra Kolkka. Each senior garnered all conference honors in the 2005 season. In 2005, Bible tallied 1,308 assists and moved into second in the all-time records with 4,305. Kirk returns to camp after an impressive junior campaign where she was ranked No. 3 in the nation with 1.81 blocks per game. Kolkka notched 259 digs in the 2005 season and moved into No. 4 all-time with 1,057.
Other noticeable Gael returnees are junior Missie Stidham and sophomore Brittany Barker. Both players received conference honors in the 2005 season. Stidham led the conference in kills and digs. She also became the only player in Division I to record 30 kills and 30 digs in a game. Barker had an impressive freshman campaign. She was second on the team with 145 blocks.
"We are all excited to be back," Head Coach Rob Browning said. "We are looking forward to a competitive season, especially in conference. We have a lot of work to do, but we are encouraged with how we started off the first day. We are very happy with the team we have."
Saint Mary's will finish up camp in time to compete in the Troy Tournament on August 25-26 from Troy, Alabama. On Friday, the Gaels will face off against Troy University at 10:00 a.m. PST and return to play Florida A&M at 4:00 p.m. PST. On Saturday, the Gaels will face Northern Florida University at 6:00 a.m. PST.