ON FAMILIAR GROUND: The Seattle University volleyball team spent the first two weekends of the 2012 season away from home, but now the Redhawks will be able to spend the next two weekends at home. First up is the team's shortest road trip of the season, as Seattle U makes the short drive to Montlake for a matchup against nationally-ranked Washington, who has once again gotten off to a great start. The Redhawks will then open the 11-match home schedule Saturday against Long Beach State, usually one of the top teams in the West but off to a sluggish start in 2012. With the conference schedule looming for the Redhawks, these are matches they will use to finish the preparations for play within the Western Athletic Conference.
LIVE STATS/VIDEO: Live stats will be available for both matches over the weekend. In addition, there will be a live video stream of Saturday's match against Long Beach State at the Connolly Center. Links to all online offerings are available from the volleyball schedule page on GoSeattleU.com.
ON THE BENCH: Shannon Ellis will not be on the bench actively coaching this weekend. Teron Uy will serve as acting head coach until Ellis returns from her maternity leave later this season.
ISN'T SHE LOVELY?: Seattle U head volleyball coach Shannon Ellis and her husband Brian welcomed Edith Daemera Ellis into the world Monday, August 27, at 3:01 a.m. Edi weighed seven pounds, eight ounces, and measured at 19.25 inches. Both mom and newborn are doing well.
THE COUGAR CHALLENGE: Seattle University found itself in a battle against Weber State in its first match of the Washington State Cougar Challenge in Pullman, Wash. The Redhawks lost the first set, 25-23, and fought through the second set before tying the match with a 31-29 decision. After losing the third set, 25-22, the Redhawks stormed back in the fourth set, 25-20, to force a deciding fifth set. Down 9-7 in the final set, Seattle U went to junior Sarah Jaeckel, who collected five of her career-high 24 kills during a match-closing 8-2 run as the Redhawks pulled out a 15-11 fifth-set victory. Fatigue seemingly set in as the Redhawks played Washington State later that night, with the Cougars earning the 3-0 sweep. Seattle U rebounded the next day with a 3-0 victory over Alabama State, posting a .316 hitting percentage in the process.
WSU ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Junior outside hitter Sarah Jaeckel was named to the All-Tournament Team at the Cougar Challenge during the weekend of Aug. 31-Sept. 1 in Pullman, Wash. Jaeckel finished the weekend with 42 kills (4.20 kills/set) and 20 digs (2.00 digs/set). She notched a double-double against Weber State with 24 kills and 16 digs. Against Alabama State, she posted a .583 hitting percentage, collecting eight kills and only one attack error in 12 chances. For the season, Jaeckel moved into the team lead in kills with 91 (3.79 kills/set).
WAC INDIVIDUAL STATS: As of Sept. 5, Sarah Jaeckel moved up into third place in the Western Athletic Conference in both kills per set (3.79) and points per set (4.12). Kaytlyn Dill is third in the conference in service aces per set (0.38) as well as in seventh place in the league in both kills per set (3.17) and points per set (3.75). Setter Jacquie Brice is sixth in the WAC in assists per set (8.96).
SCOUTING WASHINGTON: The Huskies come into Thursday night's match with a perfect 6-0 record and are currently ranked seventh in this week's AVCA Coaches Division I Top 25 Poll. Washington has yet to lose a set so far this year, sweeping all six opponents it has faced. As a team, the Huskies have posted a .317 hitting percentage and are averaging 13.56 kills, 1.44 service aces, 12.33 digs, and 3.06 blocks per set. Krista Vansant is leading the way for the Huskies, averaging 4.17 kills, 2.67 digs, and 1.00 blocks per set while posting a .337 hitting percentage. The setting duties have been split between Jenni Nogueras (6.65 assists/set) and Katy Beals (5.35 assists/set). Gabbi Parker leads the team with five service aces, while Jenna Orlandini is the team leader in digs with 54 and Amanda Gil leads the way with 22 total blocks.
SEATTLE U VS. WASHINGTON: This will be the fourth meeting between the Redhawks and the Huskies since Seattle U moved back to the Division I level, with Washington winning the previous three contests. On Sept. 18, 2008, Washington came into the match ranked 10th in the country and swept the Redhawks, 3-0 (25-9, 25-14, 25-11). The next season, the #4 Huskies came to the Connolly Center to face Seattle U and came away with another 3-0 win (25-17, 25-11, 25-18). The crosstown rivals renewed the series last season, with Washington, ranked fifth in the country at the time, defeated Seattle U, 3-0, at Alaska Airlines Arena (25-5, 25-19, 25-15). Kaytlyn Dill led the Redhawks with eight kills, while Jacquie Brice finished with 12 assists and eight digs. Krista Vansant finished with 11 kills, two service aces, and six digs for the Huskies, who posted a .415 hitting percentage.
SCOUTING LONG BEACH STATE: The 49ers come into the weekend with a 2-4 overall record after defeating James Madison and losing to San Diego and Wisconsin last weekend. Long Beach State will face Washington Friday night before heading over to the Connolly Center for Saturday's match against the Redhawks. As a team, the 49ers are hitting .186 and collecting 13.05 kills, 0.73 service aces, 15.23 digs, amd 1.55 blocks per set. Janisa Johnson leads the 49ers with 4.55 kills per set, plus she is a close second on the team in digs with 3.59 digs per set. Tara Roenicke is the setter for the 49ers, compiling 9.55 assists per set. Tyler Jackson leads the team with four service aces and 82 defensive digs, and Chisom Okpala leads the way at the net with 19 total blocks for the 49ers.
WAC TEAM STATS: As a team, as of Wednesday, Sept. 5, Seattle U is third in the WAC in service aces per set (1.19), sixth in opponent hitting percentage (.175), ninth in assists per set (10.08) and kills per set (11.08), and 10th in hitting percentage (.127), blocks per set (1.42), and digs per set (10.62).
SEATTLE U VS. LONG BEACH STATE: Seattle University and Long Beach State have met one time before, at the end of the 2010 season in Long Beach, Calif. The 49ers swept the Redhawks, 25-11, 25-12, 25-22. Seattle U was led by Cristin Richards, who finished with 12 kills and nine digs, while Sarah Jaeckel contributed nine kills in the match. Long Beach State hit .381 in the match as six different 49ers collected at least six kills apiece in the contest.
QUICK FACTS: Sarah Jaeckel notched her eighth career double-double with 24 kills and 16 digs against Weber State, but it was her first one since Nov. 19, 2010, against CSU Bakersfield ... Jacquie Brice dished out a career-high 48 assists in the five-set victory over Weber State ... The 36 points allowed by Seattle U against Alabama State is the fewest given up by a Redhawk volleyball squad in a single match since rally scoring was instituted before the 2001 season.
CONNOLLY CENTER INFO: Single match tickets for Seattle University volleyball will be available starting 60 minutes before the start of each match. Fans are to enter the Connolly Center through the lobby on 14th Avenue, not through the North Court doors on Cherry nor through the Fitness Center near the corner of 14th and Jefferson. There is an elevator available for use for any patrons needing access to the North Court from the Connolly Center lobby.