Jaguar Volleyball Opens Season This Weekend In Hattisburg

August 22, 2012 · By · Filed Under Volleyball 

The South Alabama Jaguar volleyball team is set to open the 2012 season this weekend in Hattisburg, Mississippi when they compete in the Southern Miss Invitational. It’s a two day, three-match tournament that begins on Friday with two matches. The Jags will face Central Arkansas at 11am then turn around to face the USM Golden Eagles at 7pm. Then on Saturday they will face Louisiana Tech at 3pm.

This will be head coach Amy Hendrichosky’s first season as the Jaguars volleyball coach. Hendrichovsky believes that success lies early in the non-conference schedule by minimizing errors. “First-and-foremost, I would say that it’s going to be about minimizing unforced errors. Leading into the first weekend any year, it’s about the team that’s making the least amount of errors that’s going to win the match.”

“Something we’ve also been focusing on during the spring and the summer is just about competing for each point,” she continued. “I think our team’s excited and ready to go and start this year’s new journey.”

Hendrichovsky came to USA in December from Middle Tennessee State, one of the top programs in the Sun Belt. As an assistant at MTSU, she was primarily focused on player development, game preparation, planning and  scouting opponents and recruiting. While with MTSU, she helped the team go to six-consecutive NCAA tournament appearances, four Sun Belt tournament titles (’06, ’07, ’09 and ’10) in addition to three regular-season championships (’06, ’07, ’10). During that time MTSU had 24 players honored as All-Sun Belt, eight SBC All-Tournament selections and nine AVCA All-Region and All-American selections. She also coached two Sun Belt Players of the Year (’07 and ’10).

Hendrichovsky played at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama and was a four-year starter for the perennial power as they were routinely one of the Top 10 programs in NCAA Division II. She graduated from UNA in 2001 and is a native of Boca Raton Florida.

There are eight letterwinners and three starters returning from last years team. Katariina Kananen is one of the returnees, she ranked third in the Sun Belt in assists per match with just under 9.9.

Sophomore outside hitter Melissa Maelter and junior libero Jenna Hassell are also returning for the Jags. Waelter was the top defensive threat with 244 kills and averaged just under 2.6 per set. Hassell anchored the back court with an average of 3.8 digs per set, seventh in the Sun Belt.

Olivia Mohler, who started all 28 matches and competed in every set for the Jags in 2011. As a junior, she moved from middle blocker to outside hitter and had her best offensive season at South Alabama. She finished third on the team with 232 kills and kills per set with 2.34. She led the team in solo blocks (7), block assists (76) and blocks per set (0.84). Additionally she ranked fourth on the team in service aces with 22. She was named to UCF Classic and Colonel Classic All-Tournament teams.

Redshirt sophomore Torlandria Jones returns from missing the 2011 season with a knee injury. As a freshman she tallied 74 blocks. Lindsay Schwartz, who returns after two seasons away to focus on track. She ranks among Jaguar career leaders in both block assists and blocks per set. While focusing on track, she won All-America honors and several Sun Belt Championships in multiple events.

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