MACOMB, Ill. - The Fighting Leathernecks volleyball team continues its road swing, and begins the second round of Summit League action this weekend when it faces Kansas City on Friday (Oct. 12) and South Dakota Sunday (Oct. 14).
LAST TIME OUT: The Western Illinois volleyball team dropped its Summit League road match at Fort Wayne Monday evening (Oct. 8) in four sets, 3-1.
"Fort Wayne is a tough team and played a great match," said head coach April Hall.
"We let momentum-shifting moments slip away and hurt us in the end. I'm
so proud of our efforts tonight, but know that we need to push
ourselves even harder going into round two of conference play."
The Fighting Leathernecks (8-11, 2-6) battled to force extra points in the first set, but fell 27-25, before cruising to a 25-18 set two victory. The Mastodons (17-3, 7-1), who entered the match atop The Summit League standings, would go on to down the Leathernecks in sets three and four by scores of 25-15 and 25-22.
Who: Western Illinois (8-11, 2-6) Kansas City (12-8, 5-3)
Where: Kansas City, Mo. • Swinney Recreation Center (1,500)
When: 7 p.m. CT
Series History: Western leads 25-14
Last Meeting: Sept. 15, 2012, UMKC defeats Western, 3-2
FOLLOW THE ACTION
Who: Western Illinois (8-9, 2-4) at South Dakota (12-8, 4-4)
Where: Vermillion, S.D. • DakotaDome
When: 2 p.m. CT
Series History: USD leads 3-0
Last Meeting: Sept. 14, 2012, South Dakota defeats Western, 3-1
FOLLOW THE ACTION
A LOOK AT THE KANGAROOS: Kansas City enters Friday's match with a 12-8 overall record and a 5-3 Summit League mark...The 'Roos are led by second-year coach Christi Posey...In their last action, Kansas City traveled north to the Dakotas, defeating South Dakota State, 3-1 before falling to North Dakota State, 3-1...UMKC is led by Emily Lucas (273) and Skyler Muff (150) in kills this season...Nicole Wemhoff and Ella Meier lead the team in assists with 475 and 354, respectively...Taryn Miller owns a team-best 27 service aces...T. Miller also leads UMKC in digs with 358, while Emma Hagedorn leads the team in blocks with 54.
A LOOK AT THE COYOTES: South Dakota enters the weekend with an overall record of 8-11 and a 2-5 league mark...Head coach Matt Houk is in midst of his fifth season at USD...In their last action, the Coyotes fell to North Dakota State, 3-0, then upended South Dakota State, 3-2...USD is led by Kendall Kritenbrink (254) and Amber Aschoff (200) in kills this year...Troi Kroll leads the team in assists with 705, and also owns a team-best 21 service aces...Riley Haug leads the Coyotes in digs this season with 217, while Natalie Walseth has 51 total blocks this season.
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 10/11/12):
The Leathernecks rank in the top-five of two Summit League team
categories: fourth in assists per set
(11.97) and fifth in service aces per set (1.01)...Several Leathernecks rank in the top-10 of
several individual categories: Samantha FournierKatie HostengSarah FetterBridget Murphy
IN THE NATION (As of 10/7/12):
Where the Leathernecks rank nationally as a team: 127th in assists per
set (12.0)...135th in digs per set (15.21)...154th in kills per set
(12.61)...159th in hitting percentage (.201)...190th in winning
percentage (.444)...258th in aces per set (1.03)...287th in blocks per
set (1.54)...Where Leathernecks rank individually in the nation: Bridget MurphySarah Fetter ranks 69th in assists per set (10.42)...Samantha Fournier ranks 161st in kills per set (3.39)...172nd in points per set (3.84) and Katie Hosteng ranks 156th in hitting percentage (.319) and 245th in points per set (3.62).
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 217 this season, and 858 career kills...She needs only 42 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 365 digs this season, and 1,615 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 41 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 1,763 career assists in only her second season at Western, which ranks seventh in program history...She is 368 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 Illinois returns home to face South Dakota State and North Dakota State on Oct. 19-20.