ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville volleyball team opens the 2013 season this weekend when the Bulldogs participate in the Western Carolina Invitational. Asheville faces Wright State on Friday at 4:30, followed by matches against Boston College (2:30 p.m.) and Western Carolina (7:30 p.m.) on Saturday.
The Bulldogs were 12-20 last season but improved as the year went on and look to continue that improvement this season. Asheville returns five starters and 11 letterwinners from last year’s club. Third-year coach Frederico Santos has also brought in a solid recruiting class with three freshmen. All three could make an impact in the 2013 season.
“I really like what I’ve seen in our preseason workouts,” stated Santos. “We’re much better than we were at this time last season.”
Asheville will face three tough opponents this weekend. Wright State is rebuilding after a 2-30 campaign in 2012 and is expecting to be much better this year. Boston College went 10-22 last year but is a member of the ACC and played a rugged schedule. Western Carolina went 8-23 in 2012 but has most of its team back for the upcoming campaign.
“We’ll see three good opponents this weekend,” declared Santos. “It should be a very competitive tournament. I think it’s a great way to open the season. Hopefully, we’ll play well and be ready to go.”
Asheville will be led this year by senior middle hitter Anna Moore. The Raleigh native was named to the Big South Preseason All-Conference team earlier this month. Sophomore setter Katie Davis made the Big South All-Freshman team in 2012 and spent the summer playing in Europe for the USA Junior National Team.
The last two season-openers have gone five sets with a win against Troy in 2011 and a loss to ETSU last year.
The Bulldogs home opener is on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at Justice Center against North Carolina Central at 7 p.m.
Anna Moore made two All-Tournament teams in 2012.
Asheville was just 1-10 in neutral matches last season.
Senior libero Rachel Wells has 979 career digs and needs 21 to reach 1,000 for her career.