MACOMB, Ill. - The Western Illinois volleyball team (4-5) wrapped up its non-conference tournament schedule this past week and open its home schedule Tuesday (Sept. 11) inside Western Hall. The Fighting Leathernecks play host to the Chicago State Cougars (2-10) in their home opener at 7 p.m. CT.
Western has found success versus Chicago State throughout the program's history, owning a 32-4 record against the Cougars.
LAST TIME OUT: The Leathernecks took part in the Butler Classic this past weekend (Sept. 7-8), dropping their first two matches to Butler (3-0) and Indiana (3-0) before defeating the eventual tournament champions Stephen F. Austin, 3-0. Katie 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.
Although head coach April Hall would like to win every game, she knows her team is headed in the right direction.
"Although disappointment resonates with
two losses this weekend, I can't help but be happy with how we ended
not only the Butler Classic, but our tough preseason tournament
schedule," said coach Hall. "Our struggles prior to the Stephen F. Austin match gave us the fuel and
fire we needed to push forward and show complete resilience against a
"We've been talking about defining ourselves as a program ever since I got here and today we did just that," continued coach Hall. "We proved that we can bounce back from adversity and our own obstacles and make for ourselves a path to success. We can't wait to be home and show Macomb and Western how far we've come."
Who: Chicago State (2-10) at Western Illinois (4-5)
When: Tuesday, Sept. 11 • 7 p.m. CT
Location: Macomb, Ill. • Western Hall (5,139)
Series History: Western leads 32-4
Last Meeting: Nov. 1, 2011 (WIU 3, Chicago St. 0)
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A LOOK AT THE COUGARS: The Chicago State Cougars enter Tuesday's match with a 2-10 overall record under the guidance of third-year head coach Bob Eskew...Chicago State was most recently swept in the Miami Best Western/Sycamore Inn Invitational, falling to Temple, host Miami (Ohio) and Indiana State, all by scores of 3-0..The Cougars are led by Sydney Van Munster who has 81 kills (2.53 per set) on the year...Chicago State has two players with 150-plus assists in Paula Sioto (156) and Angelica Brewer (154)...Valeria Desiderio (88) and Mysta Townsell (87) own the most digs on the team...The two teams faced one another twice last season with the Leathernecks winning both of them by a score of 3-0.
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 1,416 career digs, ranking fourth in program history (Jennifer Alexander ranks first with 2,343)...Murphy sits 132 digs away from moving into third in program history.
DISHING OUT ASSISTS: Junior setter Sarah Fetter
racked up a game-high 50 assists in the five sets in the team's first
match of 2012 versus Montana State (August 25), tying her career high from 2011...She had 50 assists at
South Dakota (Oct. 2) last season...Fetter owns 1,337 career assists in
only her second season at Western which ranks 10th in program history...She is151 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, while also tallying 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...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 then earned the all-tournament team honors after the Drury Inn Jessica Barkman Memorial Classic where she tallied 41 kills and a team-best .286 hitting percentage...Hosteng earned then earned all-tournament honors after putting down 33 kills (3.30 per set) with a .365 hitting percetange, 10 blocks, nine digs and three service aces.
THE SCHEDULE: Western completed play in its three invitationals for 2012...The Leathernecks now play in 16
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?: The Leathernecks continue their home schedule this week, playing host to South Dakota on Friday and Kansas City on Saturday, both matches are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. CT and played inside Western Hall.