MACOMB, Ill. - Western Illinois volleyball continues conference play on the road this weekend with a pair of matches in Indiana. The Leathernecks will battle IUPUI on Friday (Oct. 4) before taking on Fort Wayne on Saturday (Oct. 5).
LAST TIME OUT: Western opened conference play at Omaha last Saturday (Sept. 28). The Leathernecks came away with a convincing 3-0 victory over the Mavericks to improve to 7-9 overall. Samantha Fournier led Western in the match with a team-high 15 kills and a career-best .650 hitting percentage. Fournier also had a career-high four service aces. Heather Smith notched a season-high 13 kills in the match and a .750 hitting percentage which is the highest percentage for any Leatherneck this season. Sarah Fetter recorded 36 assists for the Purple & Gold, while defensively, Molly Murphy notched 14 digs. To view the full recap of last weekend's match, click HERE.
SCOUTING THE JAGUARS: IUPUI enters Friday’s match with a 6-11 overall record and 0-2 mark in conference play. The Jaguars fell to South Dakota and Denver on the road last weekend to open conference play. Individually, Moriah Fair leads IUPUI with 237 kills, while Kaitlyn Hickey has recorded 216 kills this year. Alexis Meeks has 656 assists on the year, while Beth Howard leads the Jaguars defensively with 329 digs. The head coach of the Jaguars is Steve Payne, who is in his 17th season at the helm.
SERIES HISTORY: IUPUI leads the overall series 22-9, with the Jaguars taking the last 10 meetings dating back to 2008.
SCOUTING THE MASTODONS: Fort Wayne enters the weekend with a 7-10 overall record and 0-2 conference mark. The Mastodons fell to Denver and South Dakota on the road last weekend to open league play. Emily Spencer leads Fort Wayne with 253 kills and is second on the team with 139 digs. Madison Spence has the team lead in assists with 566 through the first 17 matches this season. Jen Milligan has recorded a team-best 210 digs to lead the Mastodons defensively. The head coach of the Mastodons is Kelley Hartley Hutton, who is in her 15th year at the helm.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mastodons have won the last five meetings between the two teams and lead the overall series 12-2.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Samantha Fournier was named The Summit League’s ‘Offensive Player of the Week’ following her performance in the win over Omaha. The junior notched 15 kills (5.0/set) in the match with a career-high .650 hitting percentage. She also posted a career-high four service aces for the Leathernecks. The Coal City, Ill. native becomes the first Leatherneck volleyball player to receive the honor since Patty Melinauskas in Oct. 2006.
IN THE SUMMIT LEAGUE (Last Updated 10/2): As a team, the Leathernecks rank first in the conference in service aces per set with 1.44, and second in the league in digs (886) and service aces (88). Samantha Fournier ranks third in kills per set (3.66) and points per set (4.1), fourth in kills (223) and points (252), and fifth in total attacks (577). Ann Miller ranks fifth in points per set (4.0), kills (218) and kills per set (3.57). Sarah Fetter is second in the league in both assists (624) and assists per set (10.23). Kaitlynn Novak leads the league with 0.43 service aces per set.
IN THE NATION (Last Updated 10/2): As a team, Western ranks in the top 100 of one category, service aces per set, having averaged 1.44 this season. Individually, Kaitlynn Novak ranks 42nd in service aces per set with a 0.43 average, Sarah Fetter ranks 82nd in assists per set with 10.23 and Samantha Fournier is 84th nationally with 3.66 kills per set and 85th in points per set (4.13).
CAREER LIST: Setter Sarah Fetter has 2,741 career assists at Western, which ranks fifth in program history. Fetter is 199 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. Samantha Fournier recorded a career-high .650 hitting percentage at Omaha and a career-best four service aces.
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 away from Macomb.
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.