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September 05, 2006

Eagles open GLVC slate with home-opener

EVANSVILLE, Ind.—The University of Southern Indiana volleyball team opens its 2006 GLVC schedule Friday at 7 p.m. with its home-opener against No. 17 Rockhurst University at the Physical Activities Center. Friday's match marks the first intercollegiate event in the PAC since it was renovated this summer.

USI (6-2, 0-0 GLVC) is off to a solid start after winning 3-of-4 at the Ashland University Invitational. The Screaming Eagles posted four-game victories against Palm Beach Atlantic University, Wheeling Jesuit University, and Ashland.

Senior outside hitters Emily Ryan (Batesville, Indiana) and Chelse Doubler (Griffin, Indiana) have been red-hot for the Eagles' offensive attack, while junior middle blocker Molly Rahman (Ferdinand, Indiana) and freshman middle blocker Ashley Henricks (Greenwood, Indiana) have given USI a formidable force at the net.

Ryan, who needs just nine kills to become the eighth player in USI history to reach 1,000 career kills, leads USI with 4.00 kills per game, while Doubler is second on the team with 3.45 kills per game and a .292 attacking percentage. Henricks and Rahman are averaging 1.39 and 1.19 blocks per game, respectively, while Doubler is chipping in 0.97 blocks per game.

USI's offense has been steadily progressing with the improved play of junior setter Stephanie Wilson (Terre Haute, Indiana), who has seen her assist numbers rise—12.75 assists per game in USI's last three matches. However, the Eagles defense will need to be solid to defeat a Rockhurst squad that enters its match Tuesday night against Fort Hays State University with a 7-0 mark.

Junior defensive specialist Cara Keever (Ft. Wayne, Indiana) has been outstanding for the Eagles in the libero position. Keever leads USI with 3.97 digs per game, while Ryan is second on the squad with a career-best 3.11 digs per game. Senior right side hitter Mandy Probst (Wheeler, Illinois), who is closing in on USI's all-time digs mark, is adding 2.77 digs per game.

Following their match on Friday, the Eagles host a much-improved Drury University squad Saturday at 3 p.m. to close out their opening weekend of conference play. Drury (6-3, 0-0 GLVC) opens its GLVC slate with SIU Edwardsville Friday at 7 p.m.

Dan McDonnell,
USI Sports Information

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