Over the last year, Savannah State volleyball has been through the fires of tragedy and transition, but have also been successful and are gearing up for a fresh season ahead.
The Lady Tigers released their 2020 schedule last Tuesday. Savannah State will mostly be on the road during the upcoming season. Of the 19 games on the schedule, the Lady Tigers will only host six home matches.
The majority of those games will be Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) matches with only three non-conference games scheduled for the 2020 season.
After opening against SIAC foe Clark Atlanta (Sept. 15) in Atlanta, the Lady Tigers will play back-to-back, non-conference home games against Coastal Georgia (Sept. 17) and Brewton-Parker College (Sept. 22). They head to the SIAC Crossover Tournament in Albany, Ga. to end September.
At the SIAC Crossover, they face six SIAC West Division Teams over the course of three days. On Sept. 29, they open the important conference portion schedule against SIAC East Division foe Fort Valley State in Fort Valley, Ga.
SIAC volleyball is divided by East and West Divisions. In order to advance to the tournament, you must place fourth or higher in your division. Which Savannah State did last season, in their first year of competition within the conference.
At the end of October, the Lady Tigers return home to finish the season with a four-game, SIAC homestand against Albany State (Oct. 30), Benedict College (Nov. 2), Paine College (Nov. 9) and Clark Atlanta (Nov. 12).
Despite a turbulent opening to the 2019 season, that began with the tragic death of junior Karissa Tatum, then Interim Head Coach Roselidah Obunaga led her short-handed team to six SIAC wins, including a post-season win in the SIAC Championship.
The 2019 Lady Tigers finished 9-18 overall, earning the most wins in program history in the last decade.
Coach Rose, as she’s called by players and staff, was named the permanent head women’s volleyball coach in February of this year. For her first season as the head coach, Obunaga penned five new recruits.
“I plan on growing the volleyball program here at Savannah State and look forward to seeing my recruiting class graduate,” Obunaga said earlier this year. “Savannah has more to offer and I am looking forward to being part of the community.”
Following a successful 2019 season, the Savannah State men’s and women’s cross country released their 2020 schedule on Tuesday as well.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers will run in four major contests before heading to the 2020 SIAC Cross Country Championship on Oct. 23.
Savannah State will compete in the Georgia Southern XC Open (Sept. 4), the Brickyard Invite, hosted by Georgia Military College (Sept. 11), the Royals Challenge hosted by Queens University of Charlotte (Oct. 9) and the Sand Shark Invite hosted by the University of South Carolina Beaufort (Oct. 17).
The cross country team was the first team to represent Savannah State in post-season play. They competed in the 2019 SIAC Championship during the school’s first year of competition within the conference after leaving the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) and shifting to NCAA Division II.
The Tigers and Lady Tigers finished third overall in the 2019 SIAC Championship. Five runners were named to the SIAC All-Conference team.