Posted: 8/26/04

TAMIU Volleyball, Soccer This Weekend



Texas A&M International University Athletics kicks off the 2004-05 season with three teams seeing action this week. The volleyball team will participate in the Houston Baptist Tournament on Friday and Saturday. The men's and women's soccer teams will play home exhibition games on Saturday before kicking off the regular season with a home doubleheader against St. Mary's next Monday.

Volleyball Notes: The TAMIU volleyball team returns seven letterwinners from last year's team that finished with a 19-11 record. The Dustdevils have complied an impressive 42-17 overall record in their first two years of competition. TAMIU received five points in the NAIA Preseason top-25 poll, marking the first time the Dustdevils have received votes in the national poll.

The competition will be tough at the Houston Baptist Tournament, with all four of TAMIU's opponents being represented in the NAIA preseason poll. The Dustdevils will open tournament play on Friday against Montana Tech and Georgetown College (Ky.) before facing Houston Baptist and Spring Hill (Ala.) on Saturday. Montana Tech received votes in the preseason poll while Georgetown College was ranked eighth, Houston Baptist 11th and Spring Hill 24th.

Men's Soccer Notes: The TAMIU men's soccer team will open its third season of competition with a new coach at the helm. Claudio Arias takes over for the Dustdevils after guiding Southern Wesleyan (S.C.) to a 51-36-4 record over the last four years.

TAMIU will face San Jacinto College in an exhibition game on Saturday at the Dustdevil Soccer Field, with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.

It will be the third straight season that TAMIU and San Jac have faced off in a season-opening exhibition. The Dustdevils will open the regular season next Monday with a home contest against St. Mary's, a NCAA Division II opponent. Kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. TAMIU is 0-3 all-time against St. Mary's, losing twice to the Rattlers in 2002 and once last season. Overall, TAMIU has a 1-5 record against NCAA Division II opponents through its first two years of competition.

Women's Soccer Notes: The TAMIU women's soccer team opens the 2004 season this week after posting a strong finish to the 2003 season. The Dustdevils went 3-1-1 over the last five games of the 2003 season to finish at 9-9-2 overall.

The Dustdevils will play an exhibition game against Universidad de Nuevo Laredo on Saturday, with kickoff slated for 11 a.m. at the Dustdevil Soccer Field. TAMIU will then start the regular season with a home game against NCAA Division II member St. Mary's on Monday. The kickoff for the TAMIU vs. St. Mary's game is slated for 3 p.m.

TAMIU is 0-3 all-time against St. Mary's and 1-6 all-time against NCAA Division II opponents. TAMIU returns its two leading point contributors from last season, sophomore Iliana Rodels and junior Erika Alcaraz. Rodela led the team with 20 points (10 goals) while Alcaraz finished second with 19 points (nine goals, one assist).

For more information, call TAMIU Athletics at 326.2891 or visit the Athletics home page at www.tamiu.edu/athletics/

This story by Dan Lathey


Journalists who need additional information or help with media requests and interviews should contact the Office of Public Affairs and Information Services at pais@tamiu.edu