After falling short in the finals of the 2007 SWAC Volleyball Tournament, the Grambling State Lady Tiger volleyball team returned to campus this week hungrier than ever as they began preparing for the 2008 campaign. Led by head coach Kim Young, the Lady Tigers came within a match of earning a NCAA Tournament bid as they had an emotional SWAC Tournament run that saw them play 25 consecutive games.  With an experienced roster returning, expectations are high for the Lady Tigers this season but Young said her team has to get in shape before they move on to anything else.

 “The first few days were pretty difficult,” she said.  “I sent my players workout manuals that were designed to keep them in shape while on summer break.  Half of the players came back in good shape while a few of the younger players thought it would be easy to whip back into shape at the beginning of camp.  It took some time for them to get back to where I wanted but mostly everyone is in good condition.”

The Lady Tigers will hold two practices per day until the start of school on Aug. 18.  Young said the morning practices will emphasize conditioning while the afternoon session is spent on tactical issues. With a veteran team returning, Young said her goal is to capture the SWAC Championship.

“I’ve worked with this group for several years so we’re on the same page in terms of goals this year,” Young said. While Young has the luxury of experience on her side, she’s also going to spend a lot of time working her freshman group into the mix so they can gain the experience needed down the line. “After the year is over, I’m going to lose some key seniors so the freshmen will see a lot of action,” said Young.  “I have high expectations for them so that this time next year, they’ll be ready to step into the shoes of the seniors and pick up where they left off.”

Grambling opens the year on the road in Tampa Bay, Fla. at the University of South Florida Invitational on the weekend of Aug. 29-30.


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