OPENING DAY: The Seattle University volleyball team begins the 2012 competitive season with four matches in two days as part of the UniWyo Wyoming Invitational, hosted by the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyo. The Redhawks will face Presbyterian College, Eastern Washington, San Francisco, and Wyoming during the weekend. This begins Seattle U's first season in the Western Athletic Conference, which means only three weeks of non-conference play before the start of the conference schedule.
LIVE STATS/VIDEO: Live stats will be available for all four matches over the weekend. Live video will also be available for a fee for the Wyoming match only. Links to all online offerings are available from the volleyball schedule page on GoSeattleU.com.
ON THE BENCH: Shannon Ellis will not be with the team in Wyoming this weekend, as she is about to give birth to her third child. Teron Uy will serve as acting head coach until Ellis returns from her maternity leave later this season.
COMING BACK: Seattle U welcomes 10 letterwinners back from the 2011 campaign, including three of the top four leaders in kills, three of the top five players in defensive digs, and three of the top five players in total blocks. Redshirt senior Kaytlyn Dill returns to the squad after notching 210 kills, 17 service aces, 104 digs, and 27 total blocks last season. Two juniors also found themselves near the top of the team statistical rankings in 2011: Sarah Jaeckel was third in kills with 137, while Allison Farley was fourth in kills with 108 and second in total blocks with 71. Allie Hoskins took over the starting libero role midway through the season and finished as the team leader in defensive digs with 221, followed by Lani Beadle with 160 digs.
WHAT'S NEW?: Six players join the Seattle University volleyball team for the 2012 season. At 6'3", Abby Blanchard (Kennewick, Wash.) adds much-needed height to the Redhawk squad. Grace Boyer-Quick (Vancouver, Wash.) will immediately challenge for the starting setter position. McKenzie Daniels (Edmonds, Wash.) provides depth in the back line, while Andi Lowrance (Phoenix, Ariz.) does the same for the middle of the front line. Emily Moss (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) notched 355 kills and 295 digs in her senior season of high school, and Rachel Seals (Chino Hills, Calif.) adds more height to the front line.
SCOUTING PRESBYTERIAN: The Blue Hose finished the 2011 season with a 13-17 overall record, including a 7-7 record within the Big South Conference. The team ended the year by winning five of its last six matches. Presbyterian was picked to finish eighth in the preseason Big South coaches poll. The Blue Hose are led by senior outside hitter Presley Mabrey, who collected 382 kills, 48 service aces, and 256 defensive digs during the 2011 campaign. The Blue Hose also return their starting setter, Ashtin Frank, and their starting libero, Mary Trimpe, from last season. This will be the first meeting all-time between Seattle U and Presbyterian.
SCOUTING EASTERN WASHINGTON: The Eagles went 13-15 during the 2011 season, including a 9-7 record within the Big Sky Conference. After splitting its first six matches of the season, Eastern Washington was a streaky team, with a three-match losing streak, followed by a five-match winning streak, then losing five straight contests, recovering to win five straight matches, but ending the season with four straight losses. Five starters are back for the Eagles, including All-Big Sky honorees Cora Kellerman and Shelby Puckett. Setters Lindsay Niemeier and Laney Brown also return for Eastern Washington.
SEATTLE U VS. EASTERN WASHINGTON: This will be the fifth meeting all-time between Seattle U and Eastern Washington, with the Redhawks holding a 3-1 series advantage. The Eagles won the first meeting in straight sets October 21, 2008 in Cheney, Wash. On August 28, 2010, in Seattle, Eastern Washington took a 2-1 lead before Seattle U won the final two sets for the thrilling five-set victory. That started the current streak of eight consecutive sets won by the Redhawks, as Seattle U swept Eastern Washington in Cheney October 4, 2010, and in Seattle August 26, 2011.
SCOUTING SAN FRANCISCO: The Dons finished the 2011 season with a 16-13 overall record, including an 8-9 record within the West Coast Conference. San Francisco held a 13-6 record before losing six straight matches, but the Dons recovered to win three of their final four contests of the season. Four starters return for the Dons, including junior Malina Terrell, who earned 227 kills and a .348 hitting percentage last season, and sophomore Rebecca Kopliovitch, who led the team with 450 defensive digs in 2011.
SEATTLE U VS. SAN FRANCISCO: This will be the third meeting all-time between Seattle U and USF, with the Dons winning the previous two encounters. Both previous matches were held in San Francisco, with the Dons winning in straight sets September 27, 2008, and September 25, 2010.
SCOUTING WYOMING: The Cowgirls bring back every starter from the 2011 squad that finished with a 21-11 overall record, including a 9-5 record within the Mountain West Conference. Jodi Purdy led the way last season with 409 kills and 33 service aces along with 382 defensive digs and 90 total blocks. Rachel Keyes led the team in assists with 840, while Becky Stewart collected a team-high 412 digs and Erin Kirby dominated the net with 144 total blocks. Wyoming lost back-to-back matches only once in 2011 and put together five three-match winning streaks over the course of the year.
SEATTLE U VS. WYOMING: On September 18, 2010, at the Zags Volleyball Classic in Spokane, Wash., Wyoming took a 2-0 lead, winning the second set 25-6. Seattle U fought back, winning the next two sets to force a deciding fifth set before the Cowgirls held on, 15-11. Sarah Jaeckel finished the match with 10 kills, three service aces, and eight digs for the Redhawks. Jodi Purdy led Wyoming with 13 kills and two service aces, plus she contributed nine digs and four total blocks.
WELCOME BACK: Seattle U acting head coach Teron Uy returns to Laramie, Wyo., where he served as an assistant coach for the Wyoming volleyball program for three years.