MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois volleyball returns home this weekend (Oct. 19-20) after a three-game road swing, playing host to South Dakota State and North Dakota State...The Fighting Leathernecks (9-12, 3-7) face the Jackrabbits (13-8, 5-4) on Friday and the Bison (9-12, 5-4) on Saturday.
LAST TIME OUT: The Western Illinois volleyball team concluded its Summit League road swing this past Sunday (Oct. 14) with a 3-0 sweep over South Dakota. The Leathernecks (9-12, 3-7) defeated the Coyotes (8-13, 2-7) by scores of 25-12, 25-19, and 27-25.
The victory snapped a three-game losing streak, evened the season-series versus South Dakota at 1-1, and is the Leathernecks first-ever over South Dakota.
Western used a balanced offensive attack, with four Leathernecks finishing with 10-plus kills. Katie Hosteng and Heather Smith led Western with 12 kills each, while Samantha Fournier and Ann Miller each tallied 10.
Who: South Dakota State (13-8, 5-4) at Western Illinois (9-12, 3-7)
Where: Macomb, Ill. • Brophy Hall (800)
When: 7 p.m. CT
Series History: South Dakota State leads 10-3
Last Meeting: Sept. 22, 2012, SDSU defeats Western, 3-1
Who: North Dakota State (9-12, 5-4) at Western Illinois (9-12, 3-7)
Where: Macomb, Ill. • Brophy Hall (800)
When: 7 p.m. CT
Series History: North Dakota State leads 9-3
Last Meeting: Sept. 21, 2012, Western defeats NDSU, 3-2
FOLLOW THE ACTION
(Friday's match only)
A LOOK AT THE JACKRABBITS: South Dakota State enters this weekend's competition with a 13-8 overall record and 5-4 league mark...Phil McDaniel is in the midst of his first season at SDSU...The Jackrabbits most recently defeated Omaha 3-1...Earlier this season the Leathernecks fell to SDSU, 3-1...Kelli Fiegen leads SDSU in kills this season with 265 (3.15 per set)...Lexi Fowler owns 499 assists (5.80 per set) this year...Kelly Herrman and Margit Hansing lead the team in digs with 253 apiece...Fiegen also leads the team in blocks with a total of 121...In their next action, SDSU will head to IUPUI for a league contest.
A LOOK AT THE BISON: North Dakota State enters the weekend with a 9-12 overall record and 5-4 league mark...The Bison are coached by Kari Thompson who in in the midst of her second full season...NDSU most recently defeated Drake in a non-conference match on Monday (Oct. 15), 3-1...Earlier this season the Leathernecks defeated the Bison in Fargo for the first time in program history...Brynn Joki leads all Bison in kills this season with 286 (3.62 per set)...Catherine Yager owns 609 assists (8.23 per set) on the year, a team-best...Andrea Henning has a team-high 365 digs this season...After its game with Western, NDSU will return and play host to Fort Wayne and Oakland.
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.
IN THE SUMMIT LEAGUE (As of 10/16/2012):
The Leathernecks rank in the top-five of two Summit League team
categories: fourth in assists per set
(12.12) and fifth in kills per set (12.68)...Several Leathernecks rank in the top-10 of
several individual categories: Samantha FournierKatie HostengSarah FetterBridget Murphy
IN THE NATION (As of 10/14/2012):
Where the Leathernecks rank nationally as a team: 115th in assists per
set (12.12)...137th in digs per set (15.15)...150th in kills per set
(12.68)...153rd in hitting percentage (.204)...203rd in winning
percentage (.429)...271st in blocks per set (1.03)...278th in aces per
set (0.99)...Where Leathernecks rank individually in the nation: Sarah Fetter ranks 65th in assists per set (10.52)...Bridget MurphyKatie Hosteng ranks 130th in hitting percentage (.323)...Samantha Fournier ranks 149th in kills per set (3.41) and 155th in points per set (3.92)...Ann Miller ranks 213th in kills per set (3.21).
TOP 10?: Senior Katie Hosteng
has been consistent for the Leathernecks throughout her career,
averaging 214 kills per season over her first three years at
Western...She has 236 this season, and 877 career kills...She needs only 15 kills to break into the top 10 Leatherneck
career kills list.
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 382 digs this season, and 1,632 over her four-year career, ranking third in program history (Amy Sauerwein ranks second with 1,656 and Jennifer Alexander ranks first with 2,343)...Murphy sits 24 digs away from moving into second in program history.
DISHING OUT ASSISTS: Junior setter Sarah Fetter set a new career-high in assists against Kansas City at home this season (Sept. 15), dishing out 56 in the team's 3-2 loss...Throughout her career, she has had four total 50-plus assist matches, most recently in the Leathernecks' 3-2 home loss to Omaha this season (Sept. 28)...Fetter owns 1,838 career assists in only her second season at Western, which ranks seventh in program history...She is 293 assists away from moving into sixth on the all-time list.
Western Illinois has finished three matches this season with 10-plus
blocks, first on September 14th against South Dakota (12 blocks), the
second came on September 17th at Oakland (13 blocks), and most recently
the Leathernecks had 11 at Fort Wayne...The 13 blocks against Oakland
was the most since September 30th of last year when they had 15 at Kansas City...Against Oakland, Katie Hosteng and Samantha Fournier
led Western in protecting the net defensively, each finishing with a
career-high in total blocks...Hosteng finished with nine, while Fournier
had seven...Mallory Gibson stuffed a season-high seven blocks at Fort Wayne.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Defensive Specialist Bridget Murphy was named The Summit League's 'Defensive Player of the Week' for her performance September 17-23. Fort Wayne's Emily Spencer earned the league's 'Offensive Player of the Week'...The senior captain finished the week with 82 digs, averaging 6.07 digs per set, while dishing out 16 assists and aces five serves...Murphy collects her third career Defensive Player of the Week honor and first of the season. It also marks the first of any Leatherneck volleyball player this season.
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.
ANOTHER SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Ann Miller became the second Leatherneck volleyball player of 2012 to earn the Papa John's Scholar-Athlete of the Week award for her accomplishments on the court and in the classroom (Sept. 24)...The Bettendorf, Iowa native has 118 kills (3.28 per set) on the year and owns a 3.964 grade point average while majoring in University Advising.
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 returns to the road Saturday (Oct. 27) at Omaha.