The Southern University Lady Jaguars kicked off the 2018-19 campaign at the Troy Invitational hosted by Troy University. Last season the Jaguars had an up and down season, but expect a resurgence in the Western divisional race with key pieces returning this season.
Southern rounded out their 2017-2018 season with a 9-9 record.
The ladies returned for fall camp ready to take on whatever challenges this season is going to throw at them.
“The kids came in strong, but not knowing what to expect,” said head coach Vanessa Jacobs. “The days were long but well worth it.”
Coach Jacobs is now entering her sixth season as the head coach of the Jaguar Volleyball team.
Last season long-time assistant coach, Kendra Broussard, departed and was a tough loss for Coach Jacobs and the team.
“We really miss Kendra. She was a big part of the program. Not having her was difficult for us, and we really had to make an adjustment to no longer have her.” stated coach Jacobs
This season, Coach Jacobs retooled her staff and is joined by two new assistant coaches, coach Randolyn Bryant and Coach Bridget Bowmen.
A Baton Rouge native Coach Bryant graduated from McKinley High School and went on to play at the University of New Orleans.
Coach Bowmen is an alum of Southern University Volleyball program.
Coach Jacobs is very confident that the two new additions will exceed her expectations and aid in the success of the Lady Jags this season.
The Jaguars will head into this season without senior libero and team captain, Mariah Clayton. In her final season, Clayton had 231 digs and 25 assists. Southern also lost Freshman, Ranaja Taylor, who was a key defensive player. Last season, Taylor had 178 kills and 149 digs. To fill these positions, Coach Jacobs is looking to Senior Libero, Troi Jefferson (424 digs; 39 assists), Junior Defensive Specialists, Sameera Mohammed (125 digs; 10 assists), Sophomore Imani Litz, and Freshmen Jada Carter and Carrie Woods.
This season, the Jaguars will be led by three Seniors, Outside Hitter Paige Hall, Setter Vaterra Calais, and Libero Troi Jefferson.
“All three of these seniors are vocal and they all communicate differently. They are able to get in with the underclassmen and help them understand the pace of Southern University Volleyball,” says Coach Jacobs.
Southern University will be the host of this year’s SWAC West Round-Up.
“The edge on hosting SWAC Round-Up is the home crowd. Family and friends will be there to watch. Football is away, so hopefully, the home football crowd will come to watch volleyball,” stated Coach Jacobs.
On October 28-November 4, the Jaguars will host Alabama State, Alcorn State, Mississippi Valley State, Alabama A&M, and Jackson State at Clifford Seymour Gym in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Southern University started their season on Friday, August 24th in the Troy Invitational in Troy, Alabama. The Lady Jags fell to Southeastern Missouri State (16-25, 17-25, 17-25), Troy (11-25, 11-25, 13-25), and Southeastern Louisiana (25-18, 20-25, 18-25, 19-25) in their season openers.
The Jaguars will be back in action this weekend, as they travel to Beaumont, Texas to compete in the Lamar Invitational. The two-day competition starts August 31, the Jaguars will take on Lamar, Texas Southern, and Howard.