13:23 PM

For the mighty! Celt Volleyball jumps into huge 2023 season

Fresh from a stellar 20 wins last season, the University of St. Thomas-Houston Volleyball team is excited to release its 2023 Fall Schedule. With 29 total matches on deck, the Celts will continue the quest for their first SCAC title.

A Schedule for the Mighty

The Celts will kick off the 2023 season at home against non-conference foe Letourneau on September 1. This will lead to the opening weekend when St. Thomas will face the Yellowjackets again on September 2. After that, the Celts will face ASC Champion Texas-Dallas in an early-season test on September 5. Following that, the team will compete at the ETBU Tiger Invitational. St. Thomas will face four regional foes to help bolster their resume at this highly anticipated tournament. After that, it only gets more competitive as the Celts will travel to California for the Cal-Lutheran Invitational on September 15-16. St. Thomas will face highly touted Cal Lutheran and La-Verne at that tournament to prepare them for SCAC play.

Last season, the Celts finished with a program-best seven wins in SCAC play. This season, St. Thomas will be tested early with national runner-up Trinity University on opening weekend. On their path to a conference championship, they will also face other nationally recognized programs, including Colorado College, Texas Lutheran and Southwestern. Texas Lutheran and Southwestern will take on the Celts at UST’s Jerebeck Activity and Athletics Center (JAAC) on September 29, 30, and November 3.

A Balanced Attack

The Celts will return sophomore Audrey Cataline plus seniors Trinity Atkins and Ashlynne Fitzgerald to lead their offensive attack. Cataline played in all 31 matches last season and notched 320.5 total points. She also ranked first on the team in kills per set at 2.25, and service aces with 63. Atkins was also a consistent threat for the Celts on the outside. In her 29 games of action, she recorded 232.5 total points including 209 total kills. Fitzgerald joined Atkins as a pin and is second among returners in hitting percentage at .239. She also was fourth on the team in kills with 184.

Defensively, the Celts will have threats in the back row and at the net. In the back row, the Celts will be anchored by a pair of juniors in Ally Peters and Kara Spice. Spice led the Celts with 307 digs and Peters was not far behind at 288. Both helped St. Thomas sit atop the SCAC in opponent-hitting percentage at just .117.At the net, senior Laynee Beam will take her middle blocker position returning 163 total points and leading all returners with 60 blocks.  

UST Volleyball Head Coach Keanne Burt ‘10 will return for her tenth season. Coming off their best record in the NCAA era, the program was bolstered by many new recruits, five freshmen from the Houston area and one from California, plus one transfer.

"We are returning a strong core with players in all positions,” Coach Burt affirmed. “They had a great off-season, so I'm excited to see our returning student athletes lead this fall. We also have a solid group of newcomers who are chomping at the bit to compete for court time. I know they will mesh easily into the team culture, so I’m eager to see how we put it all together!"

The first serve for volleyball is at home on September 1 against LeTourneau at 6 p.m.. For the full schedule, click here!