The USC Upstate volleyball team begins its 2016 season this weekend as it travels to Johnson City, Tenn. to compete in the four-team DoubleTree Hotel Buccaneer Challenge hosted by ETSU inside Brooks Gymnasium.
The Spartans begin the weekend tournament Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. when they face Troy. Upstate closes the weekend out on Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. matchup versus Austin Peay and ETSU at 5 p.m.
The Spartans won a Division I era record 15 games last season and return nine letterwinners, including five starters, from last year’s team. The five returning starters consist of Madison Haake, Emily Koelling, Rebecca Shearer, Brianna Tellschow and Callie Yeargin. Haake was an ASUN All-Freshman Team selection in 2015.
Also returning for Upstate is Dominque Arnold, Morgan Deaville, Kaleigh Kelley and Alexa Lagaly. The Spartans welcome three freshman newcomers in Gloria Ikenegbu, Tamara Kaiser and Montana Swanson.
Upstate leads the all-time series over Austin Peay 2-0 but trail ETSU, a former ASUN member, 13-4. The Spartans are tied 2-2 in the series history with Troy.
Fans can follow the action on www.upstatespartans.com via live stats. Updates will also be posted on the Upstate volleyball Twitter page (@UpstateVB).
The Spartans host Gardner-Webb in their home opener on Tuesday, August 30 at 6 p.m.