The Valdosta State University Blazers Volleyball team looks to start off their 2023 season strong as the Blazers look to improve off of their 2022 campaign.
After finishing last season with a 14-19 record, Head Volleyball Coach Kaleigh Zoucha said her team’s main goal for this season is to improve every week.
“Our goal is just to get a little better as the season goes on,” said Zoucha. “We worked over the spring on improving all aspects of the game.”
Following their first round playoff exit from last season, the Blazers have been hard at work in the off-season preparing for the upcoming 2023 campaign.
“With adjustments to both our offensive and defensive plans, we want to be competitive in the conference, and be the best to our ability,” said Zoucha.
This offseason saw some turnover on the roster as six new players joined the team.
Even with the new additions to the roster, the Blazers come into 2023 with some returning stars from last season’s team.
Zoucha praised several players who led in several statistical categories last season, such as the 2nd Team All-GSC Outside Hitter JoJo Smith.
“JoJo Smith is one of our returning players to keep an eye on this season,” said Zoucha.
Zoucha also raved about other returning players as well, including GSC Blocks leader Christina Pettigrew.
“Pettigrew was one of the best blockers in the GSC last season,” said Zoucha. “We hope she can continue her excellent play on the court.”
Other players used the offseason to rehabilitate from injury, such as Outside Hitter Mallory Roney.
“Roney battled injury throughout last season, but she looks to contribute,” said Zoucha. “She’s a solid player who is ready to get back on the court.”
The Blazers open up on the road on Sept. 1 against Lenoir-Rhyne in the Lenoir-Rhyne Tournament and open up at home on Sept. 5 against Middle Georgia State.
Written by Jack Calhoun IV, Sports Editor. Photo courtesy of VSU.