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VB: Mavericks set to begin 2012 season

Amanda Welsh working on her defense during preseason practice.
Amanda Welsh working on her defense during preseason practice.

Aug. 20, 2012

By Taylor Wright |

Arlington, Texas – The UT Arlington Mavericks, set to begin their first and final season in the Western Athletic Conference, are picked to finish eighth in the preseason coaches’ poll. The Mavs volleyball team will open their 2012 inaugural season in College Park Center at the UTA Hilton Invitational Tournament, beginning Friday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. against Savannah State.

This year marks a lot of firsts for the ladies of Mavericks volleyball; new conference, new arena and a practically new team. There will be six returners, including one returning starter, to anchor a squad that features four transfers and five freshmen. UTA head coach Diane Seymour is positive that her young bunch can get the job done, as long as they trust one another.

“With no seniors and a lot of new faces, the biggest thing for us is gelling,” Seymour said confidently, “and to get that competitive drive to get us all going in the right direction, together.”

Returning sophomore starter, Amanda Welsh, will be running the UTA offense from the setter position. Welsh started all 31 matches last season, led the team with 9.68 assists per set, and will be looked at to offer stability in this eager group of young Mavs. From there, two standout junior transfers will be relied upon to provide leadership and experience on the court. Shelby Dickson, from College Station, Texas, and Charmaine Whitmore, from Fort Smith, Arkansas, are also expected to take the reins.

“Shelby Dickson, who was a junior college All-American and won an undefeated national championship at Blinn last year, is a solid player and we are going to look to her to provide a lot of stability for us,” Seymour said.

"I think Charmaine Whitmore, the transfer from Arkansas, will also step to the front and she could be one of the best athletes UTA has ever had.”

Seymour believes that there will be battles for all other starting positions. But that won’t stop the Mavs from being successful. Seymour said the overall transition to the WAC and CPC will be relatively easy because she has a young team and, therefore, everyone will be on the same page.

“We will all kind of do this progression together,” Seymour concluded, “and with adjustments and gelling, we will all be experiencing the same thing.”

The Mavs volleyball team has their sights set on making the 2012 WAC Tournament, hosted by UTSA, Nov.19-21. The top eight of 10 regular-season finishers will earn a trip to San Antonio, Texas, to battle for the WAC crown.

Until then, the Mavericks open their season Aug. 24 in tipoff game of the UTA Hilton Invitational Tournament. Click here for the complete UT Arlington 2012 volleyball schedule.

Season and single game ticket can be purchased online at Season tickets are just $49 and include all 15 home games. For more information, questions or to purchase tickets over the phone contact 817-272-6319.

UTA students don’t forget to log onto your MyMav account to purchase your All-Sports Combo pack for $50 this gives you entry into all home UTA Athletic events. For more information call 817-272-6319.




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