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August 31, 2004

USI volleyball has tough test ahead

When the University of Southern Indiana takes the court Friday in the Raddison Riverfront Classic in Allendale, Michigan, the Screaming Eagles will face their first nationally-ranked team of 2004 in No. 8 Truman State University.

Coming off a 3-0 weekend in the USI Invitational, the competition will stiffen during the next two weeks for an Eagle squad that is in search of their fifth consecutive 20-win season.

Prior to squaring off with Truman State, the Eagles will take on a battle-tested University of South Dakota squad that is off to a 2-2 start after falling to the number one team in the nation, the University of Concordia-St. Paul.

On Saturday, the Eagles will play their first regional opponent of 2004 when they take on Lake Superior State University, which won three of four this past weekend.

The Eagles will conclude their weekend with the University of North Dakota, which also is off to a 3-1 start after the opening-weekend of play.

After the first weekend of action, the Eagles are second in the GLVC in team hitting percentage (.288) and kills per game (16.7), while they lead the league in opponent hitting percentage (.084). USI also is second in the league in both assists (14.9) and service aces per game (2.9)

USI had a number of players step up last weekend, including freshman setter Stephanie Wilson (Terre Haute, Indiana) as well as middle blockers Leeanne Gross (Decatur, Indiana) and Laura Ellerbusch (Newburgh, Indiana).

Wilson is second in the GLVC with 13.6 assists per game and was just three kills shy of a triple double in USIís victory over the University of Alabama-Huntsville. Gross is off to a fast start after recording a conference-best .429 attacking percentage to go along with a team-high 4.2 kills per game during the first weekend of play.

Ellerbusch rang up 3.9 kills per game and a .365 attacking percentage in USIís first three matches.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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