While the beginning of another school year is surely not everyone’s favorite time of year, there are reasons to be excited.  One of these reasons is the promise of a new athletic year.
At this point in the year everyone is still undefeated and hopes are high. Unfortunately, that is something that is very unlikely to be the case come the end of fall semester. Let’s take a look around the fall sports schedule and identify some of the games and athletes you won’t want to miss out on.
We’ll start with the men’s soccer team. Having reached the semifinals of last years Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament the Bucs come into the 2013 season with lofty expectations and a schedule to go along with them.
The men’s team wastes no time diving into some serious competition. In a one week span, starting Aug. 30, the Buccaneers will face off against Southeastern Conference members University of South Carolina and University of Kentucky.
With 11 returning upperclassmen, led by senior forward David Geno, the Bucs should be in good hands. Over the summer Geno was named to topdrawersoccer.com’s top 100 upperclassmen list for the entire country.
Geno was also named to the All-Atlantic Sun Preseason Team along with teammates Itode Fubara and Blaike Woodruff. 2012 Atlantic Sun Goalkeeper of the year Ryan Coultier returns and was voted by the fans to earn the same honor again.
The men’s program is not the only one with high expectations. Their counterpart in the women’s program is also are setting their sights high.
In addition to an early season game against Appalachian State, they will also face off against a pair of ACC foes. The Lady Bucs will travel to Blacksburg, Va. to take on Virginia Tech, and then hit the road to play North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.
Having gone unbeaten in exhibition games the Lady Bucs are off to a good start and appear to be in good hands. Sophomore mid-fielder Sarah Zadrazil was voted to the All-Atlantic Sun Preseason Team. Assistant Coach Debs Brereton was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s 30 under 30 program, a year long education and mentoring program for up and coming coaches across the nation.
In addition to both soccer programs, the ETSU Volleyball team is also beginning a new season. Having won their first Atlantic Sun conference title last year, they come into the 2013 season looking to duplicate their 2012 season.
The Lady Bucs will play in three tournaments before beginning Atlantic Sun play. The Deacon Classic, Kentucky Classic and Comcast Lady Vol Classic will see them face off against Wake Forest, Kentucky and the University of Tennessee, just to name a few of the schools in each tournament.
The volleyball team also returns their share of preseason accolade winners. Senior Megan Devine was named Atlantic Sun Preseason Player of the Year, in addition to being named to the All-Atlantic Sun Preseason team. She was joined on the squad by junior Meredith Hardy.
2012 stand-out Katie Muey won the Libero of the Year award, which was voted for by the fans on Facebook.
While the returning cast of the 2012 championship run inside the lines is mostly intact, their biggest advantage may be the coach roaming the sidelines.
Head coach Lindsey Devine spent the 2013 summer as an assistant coach with the U.S. National Team. The team brought home a silver medal from the Girls Youth World Championships in Thailand. The silver medal was the U.S.’s first medal in the international competition.
With strong returning personnel on all three teams and plenty of big games scheduled to test them, it will surely be an entertaining fall.