Volleyball Opens Conference Play at Omaha
Courtesy: Western Illinois Athletics  
Release: Friday 09/26/2013
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MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois volleyball opens up conference play this weekend with a single match at Omaha. The match is slated to begin at 5 p.m. in Omaha, Neb. on Saturday (Sept. 28).

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LAST TIME OUT: Western took on George Washington and Oakland in the NIU Huskie Invitational last Friday in DeKalb, Ill. The Leathernecks fell to GW, 3-2, before defeating former Summit League foe Oakland, 3-2. To view the recap's of both matches, click HERE.

SCOUTING THE MAVERICKS: Omaha enters the match fresh off a midweek victory over Drake on Wednesday (Sept. 25) in Des Moines, Iowa. The Mavericks defeated the Bulldogs, 3-0, to better their record to 5-10 on the season. Kelley Wollak leads Omaha with 133 kills this season while Megan Schmale has notched 101 kills for the Mavericks. Bailey Baxter has a team-best 259 assists on the season to lead Omaha while Michaela Schimmer has 189 assists. Kimberly Bailey has 197 digs, which is a team-best. Omaha is led by 24th year head coach Rose Shires, who has compiled a 440-299 career record at Omaha. 

SERIES HISTORY: The Leathernecks and Mavericks have met twice with each team taking one win. Both meetings took place last season, Omaha’s first season in The Summit League. Omaha took the first match in Macomb, 3-2, while the Leathernecks defeated the Mavericks in Omaha, 3-1, in their most recent meeting on October 27.

IN THE SUMMIT LEAGUE (Last Updated 9/26): As a team, the Leathernecks rank first in the conference in assists with 681 this season. Western ranks second in attacks (1,995), digs (843), digs per set (14.53) and kills (709). Individually, Ann Miller ranks in the top five of three categories: third in kills (210) and fifth in points (231.5) and points per set (4.0). Samantha Fournier ranks in the top five of five categories: fourth in points (233) and points per set (4.0), and fifth in kills (208), kills per set (3.59) and attacks (557). Sarah Fetter ranks in the top three of two categories, first in assists (588) and third in assists per set (10.14). Kaitlynn Novak leads the conference in service aces per set with a 0.45 average. 

IN THE NATION (Last Updated 9/26): As a team, Western ranks in the top 100 of one category, service aces per set, having averaged 1.41 this season. Individually, Kaitlynn Novak ranks 43rd in service aces per set with a 0.45 average, Sarah Fetter ranks 87th in assists per set with 10.14 and Ann Miller sits in 88th place with a 3.62 kills per set average. 

CAREER LIST: Setter Sarah Fetter has 2,705 career assists at Western, which ranks fifth in program history. Fetter is 235 assists away from fourth on the all-time list. Tracy Benson recorded 2,940 during her time on the court at Western (1983-87).

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Ann Miller was named to the CEFCU Classic All-Tournament Team on August 31st after she finished the weekend with 57 kills, a .417 hitting percentage, 34 digs, four service aces, and five blocks.  A week later, Bailey Kaloupek was named to the Diet Coke All-Tournament team on September 7th after recording 46 digs (5.1 per set) throughout the tournament. At the Iowa Tournament, Miller earned her second All-Tournament team honor along with Samantha Fournier. Both hitters finished with 51 kills on the weekend. Sarah Fetter was named to the Huskie Invitational All-Tournament team after finishing the two matches with 94 assists. 

CAREER-BESTS: Mallory Gibson posted a new career-high on August 30th versus Bradley when she stuffed 10 total blocks. During the Leathernecks’ September 5th match at Northern Illinois, Bailey Kaloupek bettered her career-high in digs with 29. Sarah Fetter recorded a career-best 65 assists in September 14’s loss to Drake, while Ann Miller also bettered her career-high in kills that game, finishing with 27. Fetter also recorded a new career high versus Oakland when she notched 23 digs.

SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Ann Miller was named Papa John’s Scholar-Athlete of the Week on September 3rd for her performance the week prior on the court and in the classroom; the honor is the second for Miller in her career. In the classroom, Miller is a two-time Summit League Fall Academic All-League Distinguished Scholar. The Bettendorf, Iowa native owns a 3.909 GPA and is majoring in Supply Chain Management. 

THE SCHEDULE: Western’s 2013 schedule breakdown: four tournaments made up of 12 matches, three additional nonconference contests, and 14 Summit League matches. The Leathernecks play eight matches at home in Western Hall or Brophy Hall, and 21 matches on the road. 

THE COACHING STAFF: Head coach April Hall enters her second season at Western and has hired a pair of new coaches. Laura DeBruler, who concluded her collegiate volleyball career at Illinois in 2010 is the Leathernecks’ full-time assistant, while Bridget Murphy, who completed a decorated career at Western Illinois as a defensive specialist last fall is the team’s graduate assistant.




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