Aug 28, 2013
By Phillip Marshall
AUBURN, Ala. – For freshman middle blocker Stephanie Campbell, the start to her Auburn volleyball career could scarcely be more exciting.
Campbell is from Wildwood, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis. And the Tigers open their season Friday against St. Louis University in the the Marcia E. Hamilton Classic. Campbell will have plenty of support in her first Auburn game.
“Basically, my whole family and a bunch of my high school coaches and club coaches and a bunch of my friends will be there,” Campbell said. “There is going to be a lot of support. I can’t wait.”
Campbell got the attention of third-year Auburn coach Rick Nold and his staff last year.
“She played for a very good club team,” Nold said. “She stood out. “She’s a really hard-working middle. She is very active, but she has a great personality. Different players stand out to you, and she’s one that stood out to us.”
And when Campbell visited Auburn’s campus, it stood out to her.
“I felt like this was my home,” she said. “I toured the campus and met everyone and I was like ‘This is home.’ I made a list of the positives and negatives of the schools I was considering. Other schools had a bunch of negatives or there were both. Auburn had only positives. There were no negatives.”
McDonald sees big things for Auburn in her senior year
Courtney McDonald, a senior middle blocker, is excited for other reasons. She’s heading into her last Auburn season, and she expects big things.
“I think we are a really close team,” said McDonald, one of six Auburn seniors. “Playing a team sport, you have to be connected on and off the court to have the chemistry you want. I’m so pumped and ready. Having five other seniors that feel the same way I do gives me a good feeling.”
Nold wants to see how his team responds on the road
Nold said he is eager to see how his team performs when the lights go on.
“I think we’ve got everything in we need to get in,” Nold said. “We want to get out there and play and just see where we are. It’s hard to know that just from practice.”
Optimism for Nold as third Auburn season nears
As he prepares to start his third Auburn season, Nold said he feels differently than he did the previous two seasons.
“We’ve talked a number of times as a staff that this is probably the best we’ve felt at this point in the preseason,” Nold said. “They’ve worked hard. They’ve really taken the system stuff we’ve put in and adapted to that.”
Phillip Marshall is a Senior Writer for AuburnTigers.com. Follow Marshall on Twitter: