Auburn Tigers at Wake Forest Tournament
August 30-31, 2002
Auburn, Wake Forest, Ohio, Virginia Tech
The Wake Forest Tournament will mark the beginning of a new season with new Head Coach, Laura Farina, and new assistant coaches, Matt Darling and Steve Aird.
Farina, who hails from Strasburg, Ill., came to Auburn in March of 2002 from Marquette University. Before coaching the Golden Eagles, Farina was an assistant at Michigan State University, a team that saw great success while Farina was on as an assistant, including two Big 10 Championships and five consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances. Rebuilding a team that has struggled in recent memory, is something Farina tackled and overcame while coaching at Marquette. There she turned a mediocre program around and led them to two seasons of 18 wins or more.
Following Coach Farina from Marquette where he assisted for three years, will be Matt Darling. A native of Cambridge Springs, Pa., Darling will continue similar duties he oversaw for the Golden Eagles program including recruiting coordinator, on-court individual player training, as well as supervising the academics of the team. Darling has an SEC connection as he graduated from the University of Kentucky where he was a three-year starter on the nationally-ranked Wildcat men’s club team.
Also beginning his first season with the Tiger volleyball team will be Steve Aird. Aird, a native of London, Ontario and 2001 graduate of Penn State University, was previously the assistant coach at Davidson College. While at Penn State, he was a two-time captain of the Nittany Lions’ men’s volleyball team.
The Tigers will play in the Wake Forest Touranament and the Hartford Tournament before returning home to host the War Eagle Invitational on Sept. 13-15. Auburn will play host to Middle Tennessee State, UNC Greensboro and Wyoming.
Scouting Wake Forest...
Wake Forest is returning four key starters from the 2001 season, in which, the Demon Deacons finished the season with a record of 20-11 overall and 10-6 in conference. The conference record put the team in a tie for fourth place in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Wake Forest added five newcomers to its roster for 2002 rounding out the team at 16 with 11 letterwinners.
Scouting Ohio...Ohio finished the 2001 season with an overall record of 11-16, 9-9 in the Mid-American Conference (East Division). The team’s conference record put them in a tie for fourth place.
Coming into 2002, the Bobcats are returning five of six starters and 10 letterwinners.
Scouting Virginia Tech...
The Hokies added five newcomers to their roster for 2002 and are returning all six starters from the 2001 season. The team finished the season with an overall record of 9-19, 5-7 in the BIG EAST.
Auburn vs. This Weekend’s Opponents...
The Tigers did not see any of this weekend’s opponents during the 2001 season. In fact, Virginia Tech is the only team, in the tournament, that Auburn has played. The last time that Auburn took on Virginia Tech was on September 2, 1989 when the Tigers beat the Hoakies 3-1. This will mark the first time the Tigers have faced-off with Wake Forest or Ohio.
Get Well Soon...
Seven of the 14 Auburn volleyball players are battling injuries heading into this weekend’s tournament. Three of the seven injured will be traveling to Wake Forest and should be ready to contribute over the weekend.
California captainsGrace Boyd, a senior from Huntington Beach, Calif., and Jennifer Morozov, a sophomore from Fresno, Calif., were named captains for the 2002 season, a year where their leadership will be vital to the future success of the Auburn volleyball team. Entering a year deemed for rebuilding, the captains are ready to play a pivotal role in the Tigers’ 2002 season.