By Off the BASN Sports Wire
Updated: November 29, 2004

NORMAL, Ala. — The 2004 Alabama A&M Lady Bulldogs women’s volleyball team – winners of the last five SWAC titles – will now set their sights on the 2004 NCAA Tournament.

Head coach Betty Austin and the Lady Bulldogs will travel to Georgia Tech for the opening rounds of the Minneapolis regional of the 2004 NCAA tournament to be held this weekend (December 3-4). Joining the Lady Bulldogs will be UC-Santa Barbara (23-3), Georgia (18-11), and host institution Georgia Tech (25-6).

Alabama A&M (22-5, 8-0 SWAC) are led by a core group of upperclassmen who are battle tested and primed for a good showing this weekend. Hitter Phyllis Hetie leads the team with 469 kills – an average of 5.10 kills per game.

Hitter Alexandria Brazelton is probably the best all-around player in the SWAC with 313 kills, 32 service aces, 199 kills and 47 total blocks. Blocker Megan Chatman is the team’s leader in blocks with 111 total blocks while garnering 278 kills (3.09 kills per game).

Senior setter Princess Dixson averages 11.55 assists per game and has 36 service aces and 145 digs on the season. The Lady Bulldogs will take on some of the stiffest competition in Division I volleyball. Their opening round opponent will be the Gauchos of UC-Santa Barbara.

The 13th-seeded Gauchos enter the tournament with a 23-3 overall record and have a number of players to watch. Janine Sandell leads the team averaging 4.27 kills per game. Megan Blackshire has 306 kills on the season and a hitting percentage of .389.

Olivia Waldowski is a double threat with 274 kills and 129 total blocks. Start time for the AAMU/UCSB contest is set for 6 p.m. CST following the Georgia/Georgia Tech contest that begins at 4 p.m. The winners of each contest will meet on Saturday, Dec. 4 at 1 p.m. for the right to advance to the Regional Semifinals, held in Minneapolis on Friday, Dec. 10.