MACOMB, Ill. - The Western Illinois volleyball team (6-7, 1-2) heads north this weekend to face North Dakota State (4-8, 1-1) and South Dakota State (9-3, 2-0). The Fighting Leathernecks are scheduled to face the Bison Friday (Sept. 21) and the Jackrabbits on Saturday (Sept. 22) with both matches slated to begin at 7 p.m. CT.
LAST TIME OUT: Western Illinois volleyball earned its first Summit League victory of 2012 Monday evening (Sept. 17) at Oakland, 3-2. The win marks the first for the Fighting Leathernecks at Oakland since November 10, 2007.
The Golden Grizzlies were up 2-1 after three sets of action, but the Leathernecks
were able to take sets four and five by scores of 25-17 and
15-5 to earn the match victory in come-from-behind fashion.
"After coming out flat in the first set, which is something you can't do when you're playing a great team like Oakland at their place, we knew we needed to battle and improve throughout the rest of the match in order to be successful," said head coach April Hall. We found our way both offensively and defensively through standout performances from several players including , , Katie Hosteng, and . Collectively we made it happen and achieved the goals we set forth prior to the match." Full Release HERE.
Who: Western Illinois (6-7, 1-2) at North Dakota State (4-8, 1-1)
When: Fargo, N.D. • Benton Bunker Fieldhouse (1,206)
Series History: North Dakota State leads 9-2
Last Meeting: Oct. 15, 2011 • L, 0-3
FOLLOW THE ACTION
(Courtesy of NDSU Athletics)
(Courtesy of NDSU Athletics)
FOLLOW THE ACTION
(Courtesy of SDSU Athletics)
(Courtesy of SDSU Athletics)
A LOOK AT THE BISON: North Dakota State enters the weekend with a 4-8 overall record and 1-1 league mark...The Bison are coached by Kari Thompson who in in the midst of her second full season and owns a 39-19 at the helm...NDSU most recently splits its first weekend of conference play, defeating Omaha 3-0 before falling to SDSU, 3-1...Last year the Bison swept Western, downing them by scores of 3-0 both at home and in Macomb...Brynn Joki leads all Bison in kills this season with 163 (3.70 per set)...Catherine Yager owns 269 assists (6.56 per set) on the year, a team-best...Andrea Henning has a team-high 203 digs this season...After playing host to Western on Friday, NDSU will entertain IUPUI Saturday evening.
A LOOK AT THE JACKRABBITS: South Dakota State enters this weekend's competition with a 9-3 overall record and 2-0 league mark...Phil McDaniel is in the midst of his first season at SDSU...The Jackrabbits most recently swept its first weekend of Summit League action, downing Omaha 3-0 before defeating NDSU, 3-1...Last season the Jackrabbits and Leathernecks split, with SDSU earning a 3-0 victory at home and the Leathernecks downing the jackrabbits by the same score in Macomb...Kelli Fiegen leads SDSU in kills this season with 146 (3.17 per set)...Lexi Fowler owns 276 assists (5.75 per set) this year...Kelly Herrman (137) and Margit Hansing (136) lead the team in digs...Fiegen also leads the team in blocks with a total of 69...After playing host to IUPUI and Western this weekend, SDSU will travel to Indiana to face Valparaiso.
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 9/19/12): The Leathernecks rank in the top-5 of several Summit League team categories: fourth in kills (653), assists (622), assists per set (11.96), and digs (784)...Several Leathernecks ranks in the top-10 of several individual categories: Samantha Fournier ranks third in kills (190) and points (217), fourth in points per set (4.2), and fifth in kills per set (3.65)...Katie Hosteng ranks sixth in hitting percentage (.315) and points (182), eighth in points per set (3.5), 10th in kills (147), 10th in total blocks (40)...Sarah Fetter ranks second in assists (534) and assists per set (10.27)...Bridget Murphy ranks third in digs (255) and digs per set (4.9).
IN THE NATION (As of 9/16/12): Where the Leathernecks rank nationally as a team: 125th in assists per set (12.0)...131st in digs per set (14.96)...149th in kills per set (12.64)...152nd in hitting percentage (.200)...195th in winning percentage (.417)...260th in aces per set (1.04)...299th in blocks per set (1.38)...Where Leathernecks rank individually in the nation: Sarah Fetter ranks 68th in assists per set (10.4)...Bridget Murphy ranks 69th in digs per set (4.81)...Samantha Fournier ranks 114th in points per set (4.13) and 122nd in kills per set (3.64)...Katie Hosteng ranks 175th in hitting percentage (.317) and 248th in points per set (3.6).
BLOCK PARTY: Western Illinois has finished two matches this season with 10-plus blocks, first on September 14th against South Dakota (12 blocks) and the second coming on September 17th at Oakland (13 blocks)...The 13 blocks 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.
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 1,505 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 43 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 the team's 3-2 loss...Earlier in the year she racked up a game-high 50 assists in five sets against Montana State (August 25), which tied her then career high...She also had 50 assists at South Dakota (Oct. 2) last season...Fetter owns 1,509 career assists in only her second season at Western which ranks ninth in program history...She is 186 assists away from moving into eighth 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?: After this weekend's road swing up to the Dakotas, the Leathernecks will play host to newest Summit League member Omaha in Macomb on September 28th.