ALBANY, GA (WALB) - They say its better to have loved and lost then to have never loved at all.
The same can be said for being a dominant sports program.
Albany State volleyball is four weeks into practice and two days away from their season opener at home.
As of late, the Lady Rams haven't been that dominant program of the early 2000s.
Head coach Robert Skinner has led ASU to 10 total SIAC championships, including a stretch of 9 straight.
But his last was 2009.
And though they were picked to finish 4th in the SIAC East, he's more confident about his squad.
"We've gotten some veteran ball players that have come committed and really have a good understanding of what commitment means and what we have to do to regain our championship days of the early 2000s," said Skinner at Tuesday's practice.
Two of his senior leaders were both selected for All-SIAC Preseason teams. Senior Brittani Philips is a 2-time SIAC champ in the shot put. She'd love to add a conference championship in volleyball.
"It's been very tough, very rough. Our girls are ready, we're built for it and we're ready to go," said Philips who was named to the All-SIAC first team. "Coach Skinner and Coach King and coach Graham, they've all put their trust in us."
Skinner is entering his 27th season leading ASU. His experience trickles down to the confident mindset of his players.
"It gives me and it should give a lot of my other teammates the confidence because he knows what he's doing," said senior Jahkishma Soto.
ASU opens the season in HPER gym against Auburn University Montgomery at 6 p.m.
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