Photo by Austin Lewis / Sidelines Archives
Story by Timothy Carroll / Contributing Writer
The Middle Tennessee Blue Raider volleyball team struggled at times last season, posting a record of 5-24 and a 2-12 mark in Conference USA play. Despite the down season, they will be looking to turn things around this upcoming season and have a reloaded roster with returning talent to help them achieve this goal.
In anticipation for the first matches on August 25, here are the top five players that Blue Raider fans should keep an eye on during the 2017 volleyball season.
1) Regan Coughlin – Junior
Coughlin transferred to Middle Tennessee in 2016 after playing her freshman season at the College of Coastal Georgia, where she won several accolades such as Southern State Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year Award and First-Team All-Conference honors. Her first season at Middle Tennessee saw her lead the team in kills with 246 and finish second in digs with 254. Coughlin also finished the season with an impressive seven double-doubles. Fans should look for her to be a leader on this team in the 2017 season.
2) Makila York – Junior
York played in 25 matches last season (12 starts), finishing with a solid stat line of 128 kills, 29 digs and 26 blocks. She brings international playing experience to the team as she played for the Trinidad and Tobago national team in last year’s Pan-American games. Middle Tennessee fans can expect her to continue to be a big contributor to the team and build on her success from last season.
3) Bailey Mason – Junior
Mason transferred to Middle Tennessee in 2016 after playing for Truman State her freshman year. She saw significant playing time her first season as a Blue Raider, playing in 29 matches with 21 starts. She finished third on the team with 148 kills and 90 digs, and was named to the DISH Tennessee Classic All- Tournament team as well. With all of her experience from last season, she could be primed to take some big steps in her development and play an even bigger role on the team.
4) Aubrie Huddleston – Sophomore
Huddleston had a successful freshman season that saw her play in 27 matches (12 starts). She finished second on the team with 150 kills, and tallied 36 digs and 13 service aces. Now that she has a full season of college volleyball under her belt, she can be expected to improve greatly for the 2017 campaign.
5) Vonnie Covington – Redshirt Junior
Covington played in 25 matches last season with 22 starts, and led the team in hitting percent percentage (.234) for the second season in a row. She finished the campaign with 141 kills and 47 digs, staying consistent with her career thus far. She is an efficient and accurate player, so Middle Tennessee fans can expect more of the same from Covington in 2017.
To contact Sports Editor Rusty Ellis, email firstname.lastname@example.org.