MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (August 26, 2021) – In its seventh season under coach Reed Sunahara, the West Virginia University volleyball team opens the 2021 season at the ODU Invitational on Friday, Aug. 27, inside the ODU Volleyball Center, in Norfolk, Virginia.
WVU opens play against Loyola on Friday at 10 a.m. ET. The squad will go up against Old Dominion on Friday, at 7 p.m. ET. The Mountaineers conclude the ODU Invitational on Saturday, as it takes on Hampton at 1 p.m. ET.
“We’re looking forward to playing this weekend,” Sunahara said. “Our players have been working hard all preseason. It’s a great opportunity to play against other teams and see where we are. We are fortunate that we can play during these challenging times.”
Last year the squad posted a program-best, 8-8 mark to finish fourth overall in the Big 12, its highest league finish in Sunahara’s six-year tenure. Overall, WVU posted a 10-win season. The Mountaineers will return 12 letterwinners to the court this season, including five starters and the libero.
Three individuals finished the season in the top 10 of four Big 12 categories. Fifth year middle blocker Briana Lynch ranked third with a .363 hitting efficiency and ninth with 1.06 blocks per set. The Johns Creek, Georgia native’s hitting percentage ranks first in a single season in program history.
Senior setter Lacey Zerwas ranked fourth with 9.73 assists per set and fifth year defensive specialist Alexa Hasting ranked fifth with 3.81 digs per set.
The Mountaineers and Greyhounds will meet for the third time in program history on Friday, as WVU swept Loyola in its most recent meeting on Aug. 25, 2012, in Morgantown. Of note, WVU and Loyola are tied with one game apiece all-time.
After a meeting last season, WVU will face host, Old Dominion for the second time in program history on Friday evening. The Mountaineers closed out the 2020-21 season beating the Monarchs 3-1 in the team’s first meeting at ODU.
Senior outside hitter Kristin Lux recorded her second straight double-double in the match, surpassing personal-best marks in two individual categories. Lux put up a career-high 21 kills for a .246 hitting efficiency, as well as a team-high 18 digs.
Additionally, Zerwas dished out 37 of WVU’s 48 assists to go along with 13 digs. Of note, Zerwas recorded her sixth double-double of the season and 22nd double-double of her career.
To close out the weekend WVU will face Hampton for the second time in program history.
The Mountaineers first met the Lady Patriots in 2013 when WVU took a 3-2 win, at the Eagle challenge.
West Virginia will remain on the road following the ODU Invitational, as the Mountaineers travel to Annapolis, Maryland for a two-day tournament at Navy, from Sept. 3-4. West Virginia will face Michigan on Sept. 3 and Navy on Sept. 4.