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Aug. 21, 2007
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The USC Upstate volleyball team will get to be the first in the 17-team athletic department to lace up their sneakers in the NCAA Division I on Friday afternoon when they host Division I Independent Savannah State at 2 p.m. as part of the six-match Fatz Cafe USC Upstate Volleyball Tournament. The Spartans will play two other matches in the two-day tournament, including a 7 p.m. match with Navy on Friday and a 7 p.m. match with crosstown rival Wofford on Saturday.
The Spartans will also run two promotions during the tournament. On Friday night when Upstate faces Navy, all members of the military will be admitted free along with their guests. All fans who wear green to the match on Saturday at 7 p.m. against crosstown rival, Wofford, in the final match of the Fatz Cafe USC Upstate Volleyball Tournament will be admitted free of charge to the event. Normal ticket prices for a USC Upstate volleyball match are $4 for adults and $2 for students ages 11-18 with student ID. Children less than 10 years of age will be admitted free along with USC Upstate students with their student ID.
While USC Upstate will face off with Savannah State for the first time in the school's NCAA era during the Fatz Cafe USC Upstate Volleyball Tournament, the Spartans have had a history of success against the other two opponents. Navy, which finished the 2006 season 11-20 overall, lost its only meeting with Upstate, 3-2, on Sept. 22, 1995 at the Liberty Tournament. Ironically, current assistant coach Joe Bowman was the head coach during the match with current head coach Jennifer Calloway serving as an assistant coach on the squad. The Spartans won six of nine match-ups with crosstown rival, Wofford, since joining the NCAA in 1990. The last time the two teams met was on Sept. 27, 1994, while Calloway was still setting for the Spartans. She led the team to a 3-0 sweep of the Terriers, as she helped lead the team to a Peach Belt Conference Championship.
USC Upstate will enter the Division I era with a distinct new look to its team, with seven newcomers joining the Spartans, including three freshman and four junior college transfers. Sandra Campbell, a 6-1 freshman from Orlando, Fla., could make an immediate impact in the middle for the Spartans while fellow freshmen, Megan Healey and Angel Ward will look for time on the back row for the Spartans as defensive specialists. The junior college transfers will also make an immediate impact, with junior Karla Andree, from Cypress (Calif.) Community College also looking to see time on the back row. Three front-row players come to Upstate from New Mexico Military Insititute, Tijana Knezevic, Jovana Lubura and Angie Varnum. All three earned all-conference recognition at the junior college level and will look for immediate playing time.
Head coach Jennifer Calloway enters her 12th-year as head coach of the Spartans, having racked up 235 career wins and taken the Spartans to the NCAA Tournament twice.