October 09, 2003
USI volleyball facing crucial stretch
The University of Southern Indiana volleyball team is preparing to face a crucial stretch of the season. The Screaming Eagles, which will play Lewis University this Friday, October 10, at 7 p.m. in Romeoville, Illinois, have three matches remaining before getting a much-needed 10-day break. They are ranked ninth in the first Great Lakes Regional Poll while Lewis is ranked seventh.
There is reason to believe the Eagles can get out of their current slump. USI, which is 14-5 overall but just 3-3 in the GLVC, has been starting to get production from its outside hitters, something that was sorely missed throughout the start of the season.
Freshman outside hitter Emily Ryan (Batesville, Indiana) is starting to come around. Ryan averaged 4.0 kills per game and hit .310 in USIís last three contests. Also, senior outside hitter Ashley Riordan (Mt. Vernon, Indiana) recorded 3.57 kills and a team-high .317 attacking percentage during that same stretch.
USIís play inside has been its strength all season and it continues to be with the play of junior middle blocker Leeanne Gross (Decatur, Indiana) and sophomore middle hitter Laura Ellerbusch (Newburgh, Indiana). Gross is eighth in the GLVC with 3.72 kills per game and has an attacking percentage of .330 while Ellerbusch has continued to be a dominate player, averaging 3.29 kills and 1.01 blocks per game.
Ellerbusch is second in the GLVC with a team-high .378 attacking percentage and she is fifth in the league in blocks per game. Gross needs just 14 kills to become the sixth player in USI history to reach 1,000 career kills.
Defensively, the Eagles must improve if they want to provide senior setter Kim Boehmer (Cincinnati, Ohio) good opportunities to set USIís offense. Boehmer, who needs just 200 assists to reach 5,000 for her career, is averaging 11.79 assists and 2.62 digs per game.
Riordan and Gross lead the Eagles with 2.82 and 2.81 digs per game, respectively.
In addition to Lewis, the Eagles will play the University of Wisconin-Parkside at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 11, in Kenosha, Wisconsin. They return home Tuesday, October 14, to play Kentucky Wesleyan College in a 7 p.m. match at the Physical Activities Center.
USI Sports Information