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September 07, 2005

Eagles look to continue momentum

EVANSVILLE, Ind.óA week ago, the University of Southern Indiana volleyball team wanted nothing to do with the style of play exhibited in its previous weekend of action. But Ďoh what a difference a week makes!í

This week, the Screaming Eagles are coming off a 3-1 performance in the Cougar Classic which saw them record regional wins over Alderson-Broaddus College and nationally-ranked Northern Michigan University. They want to continue that momentum when they take part in the UAH/Holiday Inn Express Invitational in Huntsville, Alabama.

USI (4-4) starts play with Nova Southeastern University Friday at 11:30 a.m. and will play Harding University, a team receiving votes in the latest CSTV/AVCA Division II Top 25 Coachesí Poll, at 3:30 p.m. the same day. The Eagles play the University of Montevallo and the University of Alabama-Huntsville Saturday at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., respectively, to finish the invitational.

Improved play from USIís middle blockers and tougher defense helped the Eagles rebound from a 1-3 start to the .500 mark last weekend.

Laura Ellerbusch

Senior middle blocker Laura Ellerbusch (Newburgh, Indiana), sophomore middle blocker Molly Rahman (Ferdinand, Indiana), and freshman middle blocker Meg Buschman (Reynolds, Indiana) combined for 9.06 kills per game and a .258 attacking percentage last weekend after combining for just 6.00 kills and a .191 attacking percentage in USIís first four matches.

Defensively, the Eagles recorded 18.47 digs per game in the Cougar Classic as opposed to just 13.64 dpg during the opening weekend. Freshman libero Amber Gogel (Ferdinand, Indiana) averaged 4.87 dpg, while sophomore setter Stephanie Wilson (Terre Haute, Indiana) chipped in 3.20 dpg last a week ago.

Wilson also benefited from USIís improved passing last weekend as she averaged nearly three more assists per game than the 10.50 she averaged in the opening weekend.

Dan McDonnell,
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