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New coach Messer meets with Golden Eagle players, parents

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Tech coach Sytia Messer officially begins her position as women's basketball head coach on Monday, but she got things underway a little early when she held a team meeting Saturday morning with her players and several of their parents.

On Saturday afternoon, the team held its annual Welcome Back Picnic under the big tent in Tennessee Tech's Tailgate Park.

Messer was introduced on Monday, Aug. 17, as the new Golden Eagle head coach during a press conference in the Eagles' Nest in Eblen Center. Saturday's meeting took place in the same location, and she took the opportunity to address the team members about a variety of topics ranging from class schedules and academic support to dealing with the media and providing service to the community.

The 2009-10 Golden Eagle roster will feature six returnees, including one senior (Vivian Nwosu),  one junior (Jasmine White) and four sophomores (Rachel Glidden, Tacarra Hayes, Simone Rutledge and Krystal Stirrup). Messer's first team will also include seven newcomers, including freshmen Katherine Barker, Kellie Cook, Kylie Cook, Katy Cooke, Haley Ervin, Tiara Hopper, and junior Whitley Mayberry.