FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) – UNA held its fall sports media day on Monday, where the volleyball, soccer, cross country and football teams discussed their excitement for their upcoming seasons.

The volleyball team is ready for a bounce-back season after going 13-15 last year and 3-13 in conference play.

Head coach Tristan Johnson said last year’s injuries and lack of depth hurt them in ASUN play, but this year, they have a lot of players who can play at any moment and challenge each other, and he thinks that will be huge for the upcoming season.

“On both sides of the net, we’ve got players that can play for us at a really high level and that’s something that’s exciting because every day you’ve got to bring your best,” Johnson said. “One of our biggest kryptonite so to speak last year was our lack of depth. When one of our starters went down going into conference, we kind of took a dip there at the beginning of conference and I think that played a big role. We’re in a place where we have a lot of people ready to step up and do their job.”

UNA Volleyball will face Alabama for an exhibition on Saturday, August 19, and then officially open the season at the A-State Invitational next week.

Meanwhile, the UNA soccer team opened 2023 with a 1-0 win over MTSU on Saturday in an exhibition, which was a good start for a very young team. The Lions bring in 18 newcomers and head coach Chris Walker said he has no idea who the starting 11 will be, but it’s a good problem to have.

UNA was picked to finish last in the ASUN but the Lions aren’t discouraged by that, as they’ll use it as motivation. And right now, they’re just focused on bonding and building chemistry with this new team.

“Once all of the ladies get to know each other and really buy in and will fight for each other, it makes my job so much easier, I just have to tactically figure them out on what part of the field. The last time we were there we got to the ASUN final so it doesn’t mean anything. But we’ll use it along the way, it’s going to be competitive and that’s what’s exciting. I think the difference between Division II and Division I is there’s no easy games,” Walker said.

UNA soccer will officially open its season at Belmont on Thursday.