Spartans Set For Busy Week
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - USC Upstate will travel to take on the Bulldogs of South Carolina State on Wednesday before hitting the road for yet another tournament, this one close to home, in Boone, N.C. While playing at the Appalachian Invitational, Upstate will enter contests with Valparaiso, host Appalachian State and Eastern Kentucky.
Scouting the Bulldogs
Senior outside hitter Jarne Gleaton (West Columbia, Airport HS) was named to the Tiny Laster Invitational All-Tournament Team on Aug. 29. Gleaton earned All-Tournament Honors team after recording 43 kills, three block assists, five set assists, and 34 digs over the weekend as the Bulldogs went 1-3 at the Invitational. The Bulldogs fell to Towson (0-3), Bryant (0-3) and Wofford (2-3) and picked up the “W” against the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (3-2).
Scouting the Crusaders
A trio of Valpo players were recognized this past week following the programs stellar performance at the La Salle Invitational (Aug. 27-28).
Junior outside hitter Katie Britton (Mishawaka, Ind./Marian) was named the Tournament MVP of the La Salle Invitational after helping lead the Crusaders to the tournament title this past weekend. In addition, junior setter Jenny Pokorny (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) joined Britton on the All-Tournament Team.
Britton led the Crusaders offensively in their three wins at La Salle, combining for 39 kills on .295 hitting. The junior especially stood out in Saturday’s two matches, opening the day with a match-high 13 kills on .478 hitting in the sweep of Hartford. Britton then came up with big kill after big kill in Valpo’s win over 2009 NCAA Tournament participant Niagara, matching her career-best with 18 kills against the Purple Eagles. The All-Tournament accolade was the second of Britton’s career.
Pokorny earned her first career All-Tournament honor in her first weekend as the Crusaders’ starting full-time setter. The junior posted 98 assists, 29 digs, 16 kills, four blocks and four aces over the course of Valpo’s three victories. She registered a pair of double-doubles, tallying 33 assists and 10 digs at La Salle and a career-best 44 assists to go with 14 digs against Niagara. Pokorny also enjoyed an outstanding weekend on the attack, hitting .325, highlighted by a .636 clip on seven kills against Hartford.
In addition to Britton and Pokorny, sophomore libero Taylor Root (Jenison, Mich./Jenison) was named the Horizon League’s Defensive Player of the Week after averaging an even 6.00 digs/set on the weekend and chipping in 1.07 assists/set as the Crusaders went 3-1 last week.
Valpo picked up wins at the La Salle Invitational against La Salle (3-1), Hartford (3-0) and Niagara (3-1) after falling in its opening match against Virginia (3-1).
Scouting the Mountaineers
ASU is coming off three stellar performances over the weekend at the High Point Tournament. The Black and Gold cruised past NC A&T and UNC Wilmington by 3-0 margins and then rallied for a 3-2 victory over tournament-host High Point, after falling behind by two sets.
Offensive productivity has come from all over for ASU, as both sophomore Meghann Forshey and junior Kelly Rhein have been major contributors, both tallying a total of 29 kills respectively. For her efforts at HPU, Forshey was named the tournament MVP, while Rhein was quite impressive against the Panthers, compiling 16 kills to go along 16 digs.
Defensively, first-year starter Courtney Rhein has stepped up at the libero spot, as she totaled 63 digs over the course of three matches, averaging 5.73 digs per set. Rhein also earned all-tournament honors.
At the net, senior Caroline Sedon and junior Alison Blasingame have been solid, as Sedon recorded 11 block assists on the weekend and Blasingame tallied 15 blocks (four block solo/11 block assist).
The 3-0 start for Appalachian is the squad’s best beginning under current head coach Matt Ginipro and best start to a season since 2005 (3-0).
Scouting the Colonels
Eastern Kentucky’s volleyball team earned its first win of the season by beating Coppin State, 3-0, on Aug. 28 at the VB Rags Western Carolina Invitational. The Colonels left the Invitational with a 1-2 record on the season after losing to North Carolina State (0-3) and Western Carolina (2-3).
USC Upstate sophomore and Illinois native, Emily Sanders earned a slot on the Hotels at Grand Prairie Invitational (Peoria, Ill.) All-Tournament team following her standout performance in the Midwest.
The 5-6 setter, originally from Sullivan, Ill., finished out the tournament after playing 14 sets in three contests over two days. Sanders notched seven kills on 36 attacks (.139) and found 161 assists for an 11.5 assist-to-set percentage. The sophomore also picked up 50 digs for a 1.93 dig-to-set percentage and recorded one solo block and one assisted block for a pair total.
With the 161 assists in 14 sets, Sanders is ranked second in the Atlantic Sun conference with first place going to Jake Pease of Lipscomb who tallied 145 assists in 12 sets (12.08).
A Triple Double-Double
For the second time in the Division I-era, Upstate had three players notch double-doubles in a five set loss to Bradley on Aug. 28. Newcomer Cori Harris found the floor on 13 kills and found 10 digs, Emily Sanders put up 51 helpers and notched 19 digs and Mindy Quimby registered 14 kills and 10 digs.
Later in the evening, on Aug. 28, the Spartans would find double-double performances again from Harris and Sanders who put 24 kills/14 digs and 57 assists/17 digs, respectfully, before another tough five set loss.
Upstate’s performance against Bradley and Western Illinois marked the 14th and 15th time, respectfully, that the Spartans had posted at least two double-doubles in the Division I-era, having accomplished the feat five times each in 2007 and 2008 and three times in 2009.
Hooray For Harris!
After her collegiate appearance at the Hotels at Grand Prairie Invitational, newcomer Cori Harris leads the Spartans in kills (43) and is ranked ninth in the A-Sun conference. Harris is also tied for second in the conference with service aces with Mindy Quimby as they each have seven aces on 14 serves.
Spartans Selected 10th
USC Upstate has been selected to finish 10th in the A-Sun preseason coaches poll. Coming off its 2009 season with a program best 28-4 record, Lipscomb was selected as the preseason favorite to claim both the regular season and tournament championship. The Lady Bisons, who picked up 10 out of 11 first place votes for the regular season title, also nabbed 10 votes for the tournament champion’s ballot.
Lipscomb also had the most representation on the all-conference team with three preseason selections (OH Meghan Hinemeyer, MB Alex Kelly, and Stefine “Jake” Pease, a setter who was also named Player of the Year in the poll).
Coming in second on the coaches poll was FGCU with 103 points and third went to Belmont with 97.
Spartan volleyball will not take the floor in the G.B. Hodge Center this season due to renovations happening in the Arena; which means that the 2010 season will take place “on the road” in every contest. Matches that are considered “home events” for Upstate will be held in Spartanburg at various locations, listed below.
|Sept. 16||vs. Stetson||@ Wofford||7:00 p.m.|
|Sept. 29||vs. Campbell||@ Converse||7:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 8||vs. Belmont||@ Wofford||7:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 9||vs. Lipscomb||@ Converse||3:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 20||vs. N.C. Central||@ Converse||6:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 29||vs. Florida Gulf Coast||@ SCA||7:00 p.m.|
|Oct. 30||vs. Bethune-Cookman||@ SCA||6:00 p.m|
Mrs. Dodie Anderson, a 1981 graduate of USC Upstate with a degree in interdisciplinary studies, announced on Wednesday October 14, 2009 that she would be providing the University with a $4 million gift to fund the project of renovating the Hodge Center.
Anderson was presented the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006 on the 25th anniversary of her graduation from USC Upstate. She is the former owner of Anderson Hardwood Floors in Clinton and Walterboro, S.C. the largest privately owned hardwood floor manufacturer in the United States. A co-owner, she recently sold her stake in the company to pursue other business interests. She received the University’s Founders Day Award in 1986, was inducted into the University’s Honor Fraternity in May 2005, and is a former member of the Carolina Piedmont Foundation Board of Directors, which is the fundraising arm of USC Upstate.
The renovation of the Hodge Center will focus mainly on the competition court and some auxiliary functions of the athletics department. The gymnasium will be completely gutted with several improvements scheduled to be made. In addition to the installation of a new floor, the facility will also receive new seating, lighting and state of the art scoreboards and scorer’s tables.
Outside of the gym area, the women’s basketball and volleyball programs will get their own locker room facilities after sharing a locker room for the better part of two decades. The athletic training facility will be expanded, while the performance center will open in the site of the old gym and will house the strength and conditioning program for the Spartan athletic teams.
“The volleyball program is deeply grateful to Mrs. Anderson for this most recent demonstration of her ongoing commitment to Upstate, a gift that will significantly upgrade our volleyball facilities,” said Jennifer Calloway, head coach of the volleyball program and a 1994 graduate of USC Upstate.
Amanda Carroll, a 5-8 setter from Lake In The Hills, Ill., was a three-year starter at Huntley High School and a two-time Daily-Herald All-Area selection. She helped the Red Raiders post a 29-10 record as a senior, finishing the regular season with 585 assists, 63 kills, 39 aces and 140 digs. She also earned second team all-area honors from the Northwest Herald. As a junior, Carroll helped Huntley to the Class 4A sectional finals, posting 642 assists, 51 aces, 114 digs, 19 solo blocks and a .391 hitting percentage. Carroll has also been involved with the prestigious Sky High Volleyball Club since she turned 13.
Cori Harris, a 5-10 outside hitter from Champaign, Ill., is a dynamic personality that helped Centennial High School to 101 wins in her three years on the squad and she also helped the team to two Elite Eight berths. As a senior, she was the team leader in kills (258) and aces (school-record 99) and ranked second in digs (159), helping her earn News-Gazette Area Player of the Year, All-Area First Team and first team all-state accolades. As a junior, the left-handed hitter earned News-Gazette All-Area after posting 212 kills and 56 blocks to help lead the Chargers to the super-sectionals and a school-record 34 wins. A two-time All-Big 12 Conference First Team selection, she finished her career with 659 career kills, the third most in school history. In February, she was also named to the News-Gazette’s Area Prep Volleyball All-Decade Team.
Morgan Page, a 5-6 defensive specialist from Woodstock, Ga., earned four letters at Sequoyah High School, leading the school to its 15th Cherokee County Championship in the last 19 years in 2009. She also led the team to an Area 7-AAAA title and earned all-area honors in the process, helping the Chiefs to a final ranking of fifth in the state. Also involved in club volleyball, Page played with the A5 Pure Volleyball club program.