Volleyball Kicks Off 2007 Campaign In Indiana This Weekend
Aug. 22, 2007
By Corey Miggins, Assistant Sports Information Director
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. -
Match 1 Southeast Missouri State (0-0) vs. #16 Ohio State (0-0) Nike/Active Ankle Invitational Friday, Aug. 24, 2007 - 4 p.m. Worthen Arena - Muncie, Ind.
This Week: Southeast Missouri State volleyball opens the 2007 season this weekend at the Nike/Active Ankle Invitational at Ball State's Worthen Arena in Muncie, Ind. The Redhawks kick off tournament play Friday versus No. 16 Ohio State at 4 p.m. Following the OSU contest, Southeast plays twice on Saturday against the host Cardinals at 11:30 a.m., and Maine at 4 p.m.
Scouting The Redhawks: The Redhawks begin their third go-round under head coach Renata Nowacki and welcome back nine letterwinners from last year's 16-18 squad that advanced to the championship match of the OVC Tournament. Senior middle blocker Brenna Schlader is Southeast's leading returning hitter and blocker after averaging 2.94 kills and 0.94 blocks a contest last season, while sophomore libero Molly Davis produced a team-leading average of 4.46 digs per game. Other returning starters for Coach Nowacki's team this season are senior outside hitter Brittany Hastings (2.49 kpg, 0.98 dpg) and sophomore setter Sarah Barth (6.15 apg, 2.13 dpg). Junior outside hitter Aubrey Dondlinger and freshman outside hitter Claire Keaton are two of the four newcomers joining Southeast this season.
Scouting The Buckeyes: Ohio State enters the opening weekend of 2007 with a ranking of 16th in the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) preseason poll after posting a 25-8 record and a 13-7 mark in the Big Ten last year en route to a Sweet Sixteen appearance at the 2006 NCAA Tournament. The Buckeyes return seven letterwinners and four starters back from last season, including senior middle blocker Danielle Meyer (4.26 kpg, 0.85 bpg), a 2007 Preseason All-Big Ten honoree, and sophomore outside hitter Anna Szerszen (4.34 kpg). Jim Stone is heading into his 26th season as OSU's head coach and has amassed a record of 518-278 in Columbus.
Series History: Friday's match is the first-ever meeting between the Redhawks and the Buckeyes on the volleyball court.
Scouting The Cardinals: Ball State heads into the weekend with a new coach in Dave Boos and welcomes back seven letterwinners from last year's 12-18 team that posted an 8-8 mark in the Mid-American Conference's West Division standings. Senior outside attacker Julie Breivogel is the Cardinals' top returning player as she tallied 377 kills (3.40 kpg) and 167 digs (1.50 dpg) in 2006. Other key returnees include senior outside attacker/middle attacker Brittany May (2.53 kpg, 0.69 bpg) and senior setter Angie Parrell (9.58 apg, 1.67 dpg). Boos enters his first year at BSU after spending five seasons at perennial Big Ten powerhouse Minnesota, including the last three years as the Golden Gophers' associate head coach.
Series History: The Cardinals currently hold a 2-0 lead in the all-time series with Southeast. BSU won the last meeting between the two teams in three games at the 2004 Nike/Active Ankle Invitational by scores of 30-21, 30-21 and 30-19.
Scouting The Black Bears: Maine welcomes back 10 letterwinners, including four starters, from last season's team that finished 6-20 overall and 4-8 in the America East Conference. Junior outside hitter Lindsay Allman is the top returning player for the Black Bears as the Fenton, Mo., native averaged 3.20 digs and 2.68 kills per game in 2006. Junior middle blocker Amy Lawson paced Maine last year in blocking with an average of 0.69 blocks per game. Lynn Atherley has amassed a career coaching record of 298-202 in 15 seasons, including a 34-44 mark in three seasons as Maine's head coach.
Series History: The Black Bears captured only meeting with Southeast during the 2003 season after winning a five-set showdown at their own tournament in Orono, Maine.
Goin' Back To Indiana: Sophomore libero Molly Davis returns to her hometown of Muncie, Ind., this weekend to play for the first time since 2005. Davis guided Burris High School to four straight Indiana state championships under the guidance of coach Steve Shondell while earning Defensive Player of the Year accolades on four occasions. Last season, Davis led Southeast with 544 digs to rank second on the school's single-season list.
Southeast Picked Sixth in OVC Preseason Poll: The Redhawks were selected sixth in the Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll, released by the conference on Aug. 9. Southeast garnered 125 points in the annual poll that is voted upon by the conference's 11 head coaches and sports information directors. Defending conference champion Jacksonville State was picked as the favorite to win the title with 197 points and 18 first-place votes.
Up Next: Southeast heads to Jacksonville, Fla., next weekend to compete in the North Florida Labor Day Classic. The Redhawks will open against the host Ospreys on Aug. 31 at 6 p.m.