The Mercer volleyball team was on the court once again Tuesday, getting in some extra work before their season opener.
The Bears welcome the 2012 season with new starters and a new coach. Damian Elder heads up the squad after 11 seasons as an assistant or associate coach at schools like the College of Charleston and South Carolina. As an assistant with the Cougars in 2011, Elder helped them reach a record of 25-10 (14-2 SoCon) and a runner-up finish in the 2011 Southern Conference Championship.
Mercer came out of 2011 with an overall record of 12-19 (4-9 Atlantic Sun). The Bears return three starters after saying goodbye to four starting seniors.
"We have some very experienced seniors that are definitely going to be on the court," said Elder. "We've got a good group that is willing to work hard. There may be a couple starting positions up in the air right now, but we've rounded out most of our starting positions and it is people that have been experienced and have done a good job for Mercer before."
This will be Elder and Mercer's first season on the court, but they have already been in game situations together. Elder took over the program in February and guided the Bears through their first sand season.
"We got to go out there and we got to experience something new that they had never done before and so we got to work through some of the frustration of basically a new sport together and teaching them from scratch. So that was a neat experience for me."
Mercer opens the season August 31 in the Charleston Southern Invite against Furman.