New beginnings for Lady Lions

First year volleyball head coach Geno Frugoli and the Lady Lions open up the season this week beginning with the Green and Gold game on Tuesday Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. followed by the regular season opener on the road verus Tennessee Martin at 4 p.m.  in the Mississippi State Maroon Classic Tourney. The Lady Lions return home in the opener on Tuesday Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. versus Jackson State.

The Green and Gold game is a scrimmage where the team is split evenly and compete against one another.

“We give them a chance to play in a playing environment instead of practicing,” said Frugoli. “They get to be in front of the fans and we run it just like we would run a typical game.”

There have been some changes made in the seating arrangements at volleyball games that coach Frugoli is hoping will liven the atmosphere in the arena and keep fans coming back.

“I think it’s going to be a fun atmosphere,” said Frugoli. “We’re going to change where people sit and get them closer to the floor, were going to have seats on the in-lines where fans are going to be right on the court with us.”

Frugoli stressed how he wants to make the University Center a difficult place to play for opponents, and with the help of the fans, sororities and fraternities, they can make that possible, similar to the student section at basketball games.

The Lady Lions return 10 letterwinners from last year’s squad, including three seniors in Arianne Cruckshank, Paige Dollison and Chelsea Barr, and four new additions to the team.

Since being named head coach last spring, Frugoli said he has noticed a big change in the team’s attitude.

“I think attitude is a huge difference,” said Frugoli. “I think they want to win, they want to compete and they want to work hard right now. Its just a nice positive attitude.”

Sixteen of the Lady Lions first 19 games are on the road, including tournaments at Mississippi State, South Alabama and Louisiana Tech.