Xavier began its 2012 season with practice on Wednesday morning.
Aug. 8, 2012
CINCINNATI - The Xavier women's volleyball team began its 2012 campaign with the first practice this morning at Cintas Center. Ten players, including five starters and the libero, return from last season's 21-11 squad.
Juniors Sarah Brown and Kelsey Dunaway and redshirt junior Alex Smith, who combined for 820 kills in 2011, will lead a potent Xavier attack. Brown and Alex Smith were tabbed Atlantic 10 First Team selections for their efforts last season.
Setting up the attack is sophomore Aubree Smith, who earned nods to the A-10 All-Rookie and A-10 Honorable Mention teams after receiving seven A-10 Rookie of the Week honors. She handed out 1,210 assists, a one-year total that places her ninth in the career-records.
Senior libero Stephanie Vorherr anchors the Musketeers' receiving efforts. Vorherr enters her final year at XU ranking third in career digs with 1,594. The three-time A-10 Libero of the Year stands just 132 digs shy of the all-time record. The defensive specialist holds three of Xavier's top four single-season marks for digs in a season, including a program-best 603 in 2010 that earned her AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honors.
At the helm of the Musketeers is head coach Mike Johnson. Johnson, beginning his third season at Xavier, posted back-to-back 20-win seasons and second place finishes in both the A-10 regular season and postseason tournament in 2010 and 2011.
Johnson added Kirsta Cobb as assistant coach to his staff in the off-season. Cobb, who graduated from IPFW in 2004, spent the previous five seasons as head coach at the Indiana Institute of Technology. Former Xavier standout Claire Paszkiewicz is in her second year as an assistant coach with the Musketeers.
Xavier opens the regular season at the Big Orange Bash hosted by Clemson. XU is scheduled to play South Carolina State on Friday, Aug. 24 at 4:30 p.m. ET. Matches against Coastal Carolina and Clemson will conclude the tournament on Saturday, Aug. 25.