The Samford volleyball team is nearing the end of its pre-conference schedule, which has not been an easy month in the slightest. The Bulldogs are currently 1-8 on the season, with their only win coming against UT Martin in the Western Kentucky Invitational.
Bulldog fans should take this mediocre start with a grain of salt, though. None of the nine games played were in-conference, and consisted of some incredibly talented Power 5 teams, including Clemson, Florida State, Ole Miss and LSU.
Still, the Bulldogs have repeatedly lost by multiple sets. Out of Samford’s eight losses, six of them have been 3-0 shutouts. In the other two, the Bulldogs only managed to claim one set. A possible cause of their lackluster start could be experience. There are only two true seniors on the roster, Briana Holmes and Lauren Deaton.
However, that does not mean this Bulldogs roster lacks talent.
Kenya McQuirter and Kayla Keshock are two Bulldogs who have emerged as offensive leaders of this team. McQuirter has 112 kills, which is 40 more than the next best player, and Keshock leads the team with 277 assists. Keshock also averages around 11 blocks a game, making her a true all-around player.
And who could forget about Lauren Deaton, the senior outside hitter from Memphis, Tennessee. Deaton won the SoCon Player of the Year Award last year, recording an astounding 297 kills. She will have another chance to lead her Bulldogs to a SoCon title, and be the centerpiece in turning this young season around.
The Bulldogs are led by head coach Keylor Chan in his sixth season at Samford. The Bulldogs have captured five SoCon championships in Chan’s six seasons, and with stars like Kenya McQuirter, Kayla Keshock and Lauren Deaton, the reigning SoCon Player of the Year, returning, the dynasty is in good hands.
Much like moving into college for the first time, there is always a turbulent adjustment period. Though the Samford volleyball team has not had an ideal beginning to its season, there is plenty of time to turn it around. With the core that this volleyball team has, there are hopefully better days on the horizon.
The Bulldogs will begin the 2021 SoCon schedule at home this Friday against Wofford. The game will be played at 7 p.m. in the Pete Hana center. The game will also be broadcast on ESPN+.