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November 18, 2002

USI volleyball to compete in NCAA II Tournament as fifth seed,
Faces fourth-seeded Lewis in first round

Match Notes

Its goal at the outset of the 2002 season was to win a conference championship and compete in the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in its 23-year history. With a conference championship in hand, the University of Southern Indiana volleyball team will get the chance this Friday, November 22, as it squares off against fourth-seeded Lewis University in the first round of the NCAA II Tournament in Allendale, Michigan.

The fifth-seeded Screaming Eagles are coming off their first Great Lakes Valley Conference championship and enter the NCAA II Tournament with a four-match win streak and a 25-7 overall mark.

USI will have the opportunity to reach even higher if it can get past the first round and into the Great Lakes Region semifinals. A first-round victory would pit the Eagles against the number one seed, Grand Valley State University.

For the Eagles to advance, they will have to snap a two-match loosing streak to Lewis. The Flyers bettered the Eagles in five games earlier in the season and went on to win the GLVC regular season crown. Lewis advanced onto the national stage by getting an at-large bid.

In their last meeting with Lewis, the Eagles rallied back to tie the match at 1-1 and then 2-2, before falling in the decisive fifth game. Junior setter Kim Boehmer (Cincinnati, Ohio) recorded 62 assists and a career-high 26 digs in the loosing effort.

Statistically, the Eagles dominated the match with Lewis. USI recorded 78 kills and 109 digs while Lewis put up 63 kills and 76 digs. However, the Eagles struggled with Lewisís blocking ability as the Flyers recorded 13 blocks.

Senior outside hitter Shannon Wells (Merrillville, Indiana) and sophomore middle blocker Leeanne Gross (Decatur, Indiana) led USIís attack. Wells recorded a match-high 22 kills, but hit just .092, while Gross posted 18 kills and a match-high .412 attacking percentage.

Defensively, Wells chipped in with 22 digs while senior outside hitter Kristi Kavanaugh (Montgomery, Indiana) added 18 digs.

The Eagles will practice Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Physical Activities Center. They will depart for Michigan Wednesday evening. Friday nightís match is slated for a 6:30 p.m. (CST) start. If the Eagles advance, Saturday nightís semifinal match is at 6:30 p.m. (CST) while the championship is Sunday at 4 p.m. start (CST).

Tickets for tournament are as follows: Adults-$5, Students from schools of competing schools with valid ID-$3, Children 12 and under: $2.
Dan McDonnell,
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