Volleyball hopes for fourth straight at Hoosier Classic
Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 13, 2012 21:09
Coming off of three consecutive wins in the Best Western/Sycamore Inn Invitational, Miami University’s volleyball team makes the trip to Bloomington, Ind. this weekend for the Hoosier Classic to face the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Valparaiso University and Indiana University. Despite their recent success, the RedHawks (4-6) are finding ways to improve their overall game before the weekend.
“All week, we’ve been working on ball control,” senior outside hitter/middle hitter Christina Menche said. “We’re trying to get ourselves some successful reps in practice so that we’re ready for game situations this weekend.”
The ’Hawks kick off the Hoosier Classic against Chattanooga 5 p.m. Friday. The Mocs (5-6) are coming off of a 1-3 weekend with their lone win being a 3-0 decision over North Carolina Central University. They dropped decisions to Troy University, Middle Tennessee State University and Kennesaw State University in the KSU Owls Classic in Kennesaw, Ga.
Senior middle blocker Christina Teter and freshman outside hitter Julimar Alvarado, who have combined for 189 of Chattanooga’s kills, lead Chattanooga. Freshman middle blocker Lauren Gainer was named to the All-Tournament Team with 32 kills, 32 digs and 14 blocks due to her efforts in competition this past weekend.
Miami then faces Valparaiso (5-6) 10 a.m. Saturday. The Crusaders went 1-2 with losses against the University of Missouri and Morehead State University (MSU) in the MSU Eagle Challenge, but they have plenty to be excited about with their 3-0 sweep of Savannah State University. Valpo sophomore middle hitter Morgan Beil is a solid overall player with her 10 kill, 3 dig and 8-block performance against MSU. Redshirt sophomore middle hitter Lindsay Hauch is also a major contributor for Valparaiso and had nine kills and 11 digs against the Savannah State.
The Red and White then close out the Classic against Indiana at 7 p.m. The Hoosiers (6-3) are coming into their own tournament on a 1-2 skid in the Butler Invitational with losses against Stephen F. Austin University and the Bulldogs of Butler University. The Hoosiers earned a 3-0 victory over Western Illinois University. Redshirt junior outside hitter Jordan Haverly had 16 kills and 11 digs in the Butler defeat, and freshman setter Katie Gallagher put in some work of her own with 36 assists and 14 digs.
The RedHawks have great players of their own that are going to Indiana this weekend. Junior libero Madison Hardy was named the Mid-American Conference’s (MAC) Defensive Player of the Week this week following her 41 digs and three reception errors in the Best Western/Sycamore Inn Invitational. Sophomore setter/outside hitter Meg Riley leads the team with 135 kills this season, amounting to 3.55 kills per set, while senior setter Amy Kendall is tops on the club in assists with 225. The ’Hawks also have the benefit of having young talent, with redshirt freshman outside hitter Sarah Chaney and middle hitter Jenny Ingle combining for 50 blocks in the young season.
Miami hopes this week of practice will bring them closer to the team’s goals.
“We’re working to improve our team communication in-game,” Kendall said. “It’s important that we get on the same page mentally by this weekend. MAC play is right around the corner, and we need to be at our best this weekend and after.”