The Sam Houston volleyball team travels to Dallas this weekend for the Bearkats’ second intercollegiate tournament of the young 2013 season.

The SHSU women are one of four teams in the SMU Invitational Friday and Saturday at the Dedman Center on the Mustangs’ campus.

The Bearkats take on Davidson at 10 a.m. and Grambling at 4 p.m. Friday. Sam Houston will meet host SMU at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

Sam Houston stands 1-3 for the year with a victory over Loyola-Marymount and losses to Norfolk State, Appalachian State and Texas State.

The Bearkats are defending Southland Conference champions. With several newcomers in key positions, the Kats still are putting the pieces together.

“This team has a great work ethic,” head coach Brenda Gray said. “We’re trying a lot of different combinations and looking to get the right people in the right places.”

Last year’s championship team went through a growing period during pre-Southland play, starting the year 3-7. But the 2013 Kats turned things around, winning 18 of their next 21 matches including a 15-3 mark in league action.

Seniors Tayler Gray and Haley Neisler and junior Deveney Wells-Gibson return to lead the Bearkats this season.

Davidson enters the tournament with a 3-0 record. Grambling is 0-4 on the season. SMU stands 2-2 but the Mustangs are the only squad this year that has taken a set off 5-0 Texas State. The Bobcats defeated the Bearkats in three sets last Tuesday.

SMU is led by Caroline Young with is averaging 2.77 kills per set. Caroline Brown from Davidson, who owns 43 kills this season, is another top offensive player the Kats must stop.

Following the SMU tournament, the Bearkats return to Huntsville where they will host the Sam Houston Invitational Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13 and 14, at Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum.

Tickets for Sam Houston volleyball home matches are on sale now online at or at the SHSU athletic ticket office located in the Ron Mafrige Field House at Bowers Stadium. The ticket office telephone is (936) 294-1729.