The Montana Tech volleyball team will see some serious competition right out of the gate as the Orediggers open the 2014 season Thursday at the Biola Summer Slam Tournament in La Mirada, Calif.
Tech plays Concordia University of Oregon at 11 a.m. (Mountain time). Tech will then take on Cal State University San Marcos at 9 p.m.
The two-day tournament includes two more matches on Friday. Tech will play Concordia (Calif.) University at 11 a.m. and Westmont College at 5 p.m.
Three of Tech’s opponents at the tournament played in the national tournament last season. Concordia of California made it to the semifinals of the NAIA championships. Westmont and San Marcos also advanced to the national tournament.
The Orediggers enter the third year of coach Brian Solomon’s tenure at Montana Tech. The team is coming off a 17-13 season in 2013, and the Orediggers bring back a ton of talent and experience.
Senior middle blocker Korey Krumm tops the list. The Anaconda product is a two-time All-Conference player. She posted the top hitting percentage in the conference for the second year in a row last season.
Krumm is one of three seniors on the Oredigger roster. Samantha Hutcheson and Annie Smoot are the other two.
Junior Kimmy Kavran is a two-time Frontier Libero of the Year Award winner. She returns to lead the Oredigger back court. Hard-hitting junior Sydney Norris is also back. She will join Krumm and Hutcheson as captains of the 2014 Orediggers.
The Orediggers are set at the setter position, returning Alison Lunde and Makenzie Bauck from last year. The two combined for nearly 1,200 assists last season.
Other top experience returning for the Orediggers includes Bailie Cornter, Jordan Danz and Haley Druyvestein.
The Orediggers will play at the Aiscs/Wyndham Labor Day Classic next week before hosting, along with Carroll College, the Big Sky Volleyball Challenge Sept. 5-6 in Butte and Helena.
Solomon pointed out that the Orediggers will see a top-10 team in each of those tournaments, and the coach said that should serve his team well as it readies for a tough Frontier Conference schedule.
The Orediggers open league play Sept. 11 at the University of Great Falls.