@UTTyler_vball picked second in ASC East Division
UT Tyler junior Samantha Lee returns for her junior season with 147 career blocks for the Patriots.
UT Tyler junior Samantha Lee returns for her junior season with 147 career blocks for the Patriots.

Monday, August 14, 2017
by Wes Bloomquist || wbloomquist@uttyler.edu

TYLER – The UT Tyler volleyball team has been picked to finish second in the American Southwest Conference East Division and Brieanne Brown and Samantha Lee are on the ASC Players to Watch List after a vote of the league’s head coaches and sports information directors.

UT Tyler returns 10 players from a team which went 18-9 overall in 2016 and were the second seed out of the ASC East Division in the conference tournament. The Patriots will open their 2017 preseason practice schedule on Saturday at the Herrington Patriot Center with 24 players on their roster, including one junior transfer and 13 freshmen who will be joining the 10 returners from last year’s team. The team is scheduled to open its season on Sept. 1-2 in Belton with non-conference matches against Hardin-Simmons, UMass-Boston, Regis College and Susquehanna College before hosting the Dakotas Patriot Classic on Sept. 8-9 at the HPC.

“We are excited to have a group of kids back that have been with us for a year now,” said UT Tyler head coach Lyndsay Mashe, who is entering her second season leading the Patriots and has earned 212 career victories. “Coming into last year is was new for everyone and now they understand our expectations for the program. It is a talented group of returners and they are truly committed to taking the program to another level. I’m also really excited about our incoming recruiting class. They are very talented and I expect big things from them this season.”

UT Dallas was selected to win the ASC East Division after going 32-3 overall and 12-0 in ASC play last season, while Mary Hardin-Baylor is atop the ASC West Division selections following a 21-10 season. The ASC volleyball conference consists of 12 teams, including Louisiana College which is playing its inaugural season and is in the East Division. McMurry and Belhaven can win their respective regular-season division titles, but remain ineligible for postseason play as they continue their NCAA Division III reclassification process. The Patriots, who were also picked second last season, have advanced to the postseason four straight seasons, with last year’s second seeding being the best in program history.

Brown enters the 2017 season with 675 career kills, 263 digs and 91 blocks as a right-side hitter for the Patriots. A left-hander from Belton, Brown is the only senior on this year’s roster and is a two-time ASC All-Academic selection and earned All-ASC East Division second-team as a sophomore. She is coming off a junior season where she had 168 kills and a .252 hitting percentage. Her 675 kills are the seventh most in UT Tyler history.

Lee is a junior middle blocker from Georgetown who led the Patriots with 70 blocks and had 124 kills last season. She enters her third season in Tyler with 147 career blocks which ranks eighth all-time in the program’s record book and also has 299 career kills and a .322 hitting percentage.

Along with Brown and Lee, UT Tyler also returns Emily Robison, Kaitlyn Budisalovich, Reighanna Guzman, Kayla McCoy, Makenna Bartlett, Kyana Alvarez, Haley Nemitz, and Loren Guerra while welcoming Blair Dressendorfer who is a junior transfer who played at Southwestern Oklahoma State. The incoming freshmen include: Olivia Burnett, Camryn McGinnis, Kennedy Thorne, Haley Griffin, Hannah Sasser, Alison Ficarro, Madison Denning, Morgan Wright, Brianna Bellehumeur, Savannah Sherman, Taylyn Cantu, Natalie Batton and Alex Contreras.  

“I feel like the key for us to having a successful season is just getting better every day,” Mashe said. “We will have some young players playing key roles, so just getting them adjusted to the collegiate game will be important. Our schedule is tough this year, so we will have to be ready to go each time we step on the floor. I feel really good about our team and think they have the potential to have a special season.”

ASC Volleyball Preseason Poll
East Division

Rank Team (1st) Pts. 2016 Record (ASC)
1. UT Dallas (24) 144 32-3 (12-0)
2. UT Tyler 117 18-9 (7-5)
3. East Texas Baptist 96 13-14 (5-7)
4. Belhaven# 60 13-17 (n/a)
5. LeTourneau 54 9-24 (1-11)
6. Louisiana College 31 2017 First Varsity Season


# Eligible for ASC regular-season title, ineligible for ASC Championship/NCAA Division III Championship Tournaments (NCAA Div. III Provisional)
West Division

Rank Team (1st) Pts. 2016 Record (ASC)
1. Mary Hardin-Baylor (18) 136 21-10 (11-3)
2. Hardin-Simmons 110 16-13 (10-4)
3. McMurry (2)% 103 20-12 (8-6)
4. Concordia Texas 70 10-15 (5-9)
5. Howard Payne 60 11-16 (5-9)
6. Sul Ross State 25 3-24 (2-12)


% Eligible for ASC regular-season title, ineligible for ASC Championship/NCAA Division III Championship Tournaments (NCAA Div. III Reclassifying)
ASC Volleyball Players to Watch List

East Division

Name Pos. Cl. Team
Kelly Aholt S Sr. Belhaven
Paris Babino S Fr. Louisiana College
Dylan Brinkman*E OH So. UT Dallas
Brieanne Brown RS Sr. UT Tyler
Bailey Byas MB So. East Texas Baptist
Olivia Huval DS Fr. Louisiana College
Samantha Lee MB Jr. UT Tyler
Allison Sevening RS Jr. East Texas Baptist
Caroline ShecterleE S So. UT Dallas
Savanna Stutts RS/MB Sr. LeTourneau


West Division

Name Cl. Pos. Team
Zhartaezia BradleyW MB Jr. Howard Payne
Carly CusterW OH Sr. Concordia Texas
Natasha Evans*W S/RS Sr. Mary Hardin-Baylor
Allison KusterW OH Jr. Hardin-Simmons
Cheyanne LoveladyW S Sr. Howard Payne
Justice McGowan*W MB So. McMurry
Sarah Paolini MB So. Mary Hardin-Baylor
Odalis Rodriguez L Jr. McMurry
Grace Schulz*W MB Sr. Hardin-Simmons
Marissa Stinson MB So. Concordia Texas
Breean Sturges OH Sr. Sul Ross State
McKenna ThomasW L Sr. Sul Ross State

2016 All-ASC Selection*
2016 East Division Selection E
2016 West Division Selection W