LAST TIME OUT: The Western Illinois
volleyball team (5-7, 0-2) rallied to force a fifth set after being
down 2-0 to Kansas City Saturday (Sept. 15), but the Kangaroos (8-6,
1-1) were able to hold off the Leathernecks' momentum in set five, and
earn a 3-2 match victory.
Western Hall was packed as 879 fans filled the stands, the highest attendance for a Western Illinois home match since September 20, 2010 when 1,024 fans attended the Leathernecks' home match versus Eastern Illinois in Western Hall.
FOLLOW THE ACTION
A LOOK AT THE GOLDEN GRIZZLIES: Oakland enters Monday's match with an 8-4 overall record and 1-0 Summit League mark...Rob Beam is OU's head coach and is in the midst of his fifth year at Oakland...The Golden Grizzlies most recently earned a 3-2 match victory over Fort Wayne at home to open their Summit League schedule...Last season the two teams split with Western winning in Macomb, 3-1, and Oakland earning a 3-1 match victory in Michigan... Oakland has three players with 100-plus kills this season in Meghan Bray (178), Taylor Humm (122), and Brittany Holbrook (116)...They are led by Alissa Valentine (214) and Ciara Schultz (213) in assists...Alli Kirk leads the Golden Grizzlies in digs with 230...Oakland plays at Kansas City (Sept. 21) and at South Dakota (Sept. 23) in their next action.
AT THE HELM: April Hall was named head volleyball coach on February 20, 2012, becoming the ninth head coach in the Western Illinois volleyball program's history. Hall spent last year as an assistant coach at Northern Kentucky University while the Norse were in the transition from NCAA Division II to Division I. NKU went 26-6 last year and advanced to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament.
JUST KEEP DIGGING: Senior defensive specialist Bridget Murphy finished last season with 580 digs, the fourth best single-season total in Western's program history, and 5.98 digs per set, which is the second best single-season performance in Western's record books...She has 1,476 career digs, ranking fourth in program history (Elise Crnjak ranks third with 1,548, Amy Sauerwein ranks second with 1,656 and Jennifer Alexander ranks first with 2,343)...Murphy sits 72 digs away from moving into third in program history.
DISHING OUT ASSISTS: Junior setter Sarah Fetter set a new career-high in assists against Kansas City at home this season, dishing out 56 in a 3-2 loss...Earlier in the year she racked up a game-high 50 assists in the five sets in the team's first match of 2012 versus Montana State (August 25), which tied her then career high...She also had 50 assists at South Dakota (Oct. 2) last season...Fetter owns 1,464 career assists in only her second season at Western which ranks 10th in program history...She is 24 assists away from moving into ninth on the all-time list.
INVITATIONAL MVP: Sophomore Samantha Fournier was tabbed the Drury Inn Jessica Barkman Memorial Classic's 'Most Valuable Player' after helping guide the Leathernecks to a tournament title...She finished the invite with a tournament-best 51 kills, putting down a career-high 21 kills in two of Western's matches...Fournier finished with a .280 hitting percentage, and tallied 37 digs, six blocks, three assists and three service aces.
SCHOLAR ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: After being tabbed 'Tournament MVP', Fournier also earned the weekly Western Illinois 'Scholar Athlete of the Week' award (Sept. 3)...The Coal Valley, Ill. native holds a cumulative grade point average of 3.367 and is undecided on a major.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Senior middle blocker Katie Hosteng is the only Leatherneck to have been named to all three all-tournament teams this season, first earning the honors in the SIU-Edwardsville Cougar Classic after finishing the invite with 31 kills (2.58 per set) and a .297 hitting percentage...She was then named to the all-tournament team after the Drury Inn Jessica Barkman Memorial Classic where she tallied 41 kills and a team-best .286 hitting percentage...Lastly, Hosteng earned all-tournament honors after putting down 33 kills (3.30 per set) with a .365 hitting percentage, 10 blocks, nine digs and three service aces.
THE SCHEDULE: Western’s 2012 schedule breakdown: three preseason invitationals, 16 Summit League matches, 11 non-conference contests, and nine total matches at home with the first three home matches being played inside Western Hall, and the other six at Brophy Hall.
CLASS BREAKDOWN: The Leathernecks return nine members from last year's team led by seniors Bridget Murphy and Katie Hosteng...They have two juniors that returned to the squad in Sarah Fetter and Heather Smith...A sophomore class of five return to Western in Ann Miller, Molly Murphy, Bailey Kaloupek, Mallory Gibson and Samantha Fournier...The Leathernecks enter the 2012 season with three newcomers, all freshmen, in twin sisters Leighanne Novak and Kaitlynn Novak, and Jordan Jackson.
WHAT'S NEXT?: Western wraps up its three-game Summit League road swing with matches at North Dakota State on Friday (Sept. 21) and South Dakota State Saturday (Sept. 22).