Volleyball season off to a shaky start

The Lady Lions volleyball team (2-5), with new head coach Jim Smoot, are off to a rocky start for the 2013 season. Tuesday, Sept. 3 in the University Center the Lady Lions hosted the Tulane Green Wave for their home opener and fell to Tulane 3-1. Then the team went on the road to the Memphis Invitational, playing Western Carolina, Alabama A&M and Memphis to come home with one win.  
Smoot has over 20 years of collegiate coaching experience and is focusing on his new team making faster attacks this season. During the match against Tulane, the Lady Lions started off with strong blocking. Freshman middle blocker Landry Bullock walked away with six kills and no errors. Sophomore defensive specialist Morgan Todd recorded eight digs, and sophomore defensive specialist Brooke Balser racked up four digs.
Bullock led the team with 13 kills, but it was Mikayla Shippy, a sophomore setter quick to jump at the net, who kept things moving along with 30 assists.
The Lady Lions lost to Western Carolina on Friday, Sept. 6 at 0-3. That same day, Shippy continued to be a strong player for the Lady Lions, giving 42 assists during the matches against Alabama A&M (0-5). The Lady Lions came back from their loss and defeated Alabama A&M. Bullock gathered 12 kills while freshman middle blocker Rachael Bunn nabbed 10 kills. Senior Megan McMillin pitched into the team effort with 10 diggs. The combined effort helped carry them to a win of 3-1.
The Lady Lions tried to continue on the momentum from the previous win. However, their defense was not enough. When the Lady Lions took the court to play Memphis (4-2) on Saturday, Sept. 7 it was Shippy giving 28 assists and receiving eight digs and Balser with 10 digs that put numbers on the board. Ultimately, Memphis defeated the Lady Lions 0-3.
Milestones reached during the weekend invitational were by McMillian and Bunn. McMillian is in tenth place on the Lady Lions career digs list with 1,005 digs total. Bunn is second on the team in blocks.
The Lady Lions will continue their road tour at Southern Mississippi on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. The next home game will be when the University Center hosts the Tangi Tourism Lion Classic running from Sept. 13-14.