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August 21, 2001

Eagles ready to fly into tournament action

The University of Southern Indiana volleyball team will open its 2001 season Friday, August 24, when it travels to St. Louis, Missouri to compete in the UMSL Volleyball Tournament. The Screaming Eagles will be tested early and often as four of their first 10 opponents are ranked or received votes in the AVCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Preseason Poll.

After finishing 27-4 overall and 14-2 in the Great Lakes Valley Conference a year ago, the Eagles’ expectations are high. USI will need the same type of play from junior outside hitter Shannon Wells (Merrillville, Indiana) and sophomore setter Kim Boehmer (Cincinnati, Ohio) that it received last season.

Boehmer earned GLVC Freshman of the Year honors and was selected first-team All-GLVC. Wells, who joined Boehmer on the league’s first team, became the second player in the program’s history to earn All-Region honors after finishing second the nation with 0.89 service aces per game and third in the GLVC with a team-high 4.55 kills per game.

Evansville native Leah Mercer (North High School) also will be counted on for leadership and to be a force in the middle. The squad’s lone senior in 2001, Mercer earned second-team All-GLVC honors after finishing second on the squad with 2.7 kills per game and 64 blocks.

Transferring from Northern Kentucky is junior setter/right side Greta Grinstead (Mt. Vernon, Indiana). A graduate of Mt. Vernon High School, Grinstead was a member of NKU’s 1998 NCAA Division II Elite Eight and 1999 NCAA II Final Four squads.

Entering the UMSL Tournament this Friday, the Eagles will face Texas Women’s University, and 15th ranked Truman State University. TSU was 30-6 a year ago and was the South Central Regional finalists.

Day two will bring USI some familiar foes in Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. USI went a combined 4-0 against the two schools last season.

The next two weekends, USI will face other ranked schools such as Grand Valley State University (18th) and Northwood University (11th). Northern Michigan University, which USI plays at the GLVC-GLIAC Crossover, was not ranked but received 36 votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll.

Dan McDonnell, USI Sports Information

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