Sept. 3, 2008
Bearcats Face New Regional Opponents at Missouri Southern Invitational
MARYVILLE, Mo. - Northwest Missouri State volleyball faces new regional teams from the Lone Star and Heartland Conferences in a trip to the Missouri Southern Invitational Sept. 5-6. Midwestern State, Central Oklahoma and Dallas Baptist are the only teams in the South Central Region not in the MIAA that the Bearcats face in the regular season.
In Omaha, Neb., last weekend, Amber Ryan paced the Bearcats with 36 kills and eight blocks in her return to the middle hitter position. Now back in a more natural position, Ryan hit a career-best .524 against Minnesota-Crookston and started the season with three straight matches with hitting percentages greater than .300.
Iesha Haskins also earning a starting spot against Mary after playing in only five matches last season. Haskins led the Bearcats with a career-best 14 kills against Minnesota-Crookston.
Head Coach Anna Tool will be looking to move up the Northwest coaching charts, just two wins away from tying her predecessor Lori Slight at sixth all-time with 35 wins. A sweep of all four games will place Tool in a tie for fifth with Cathie Schulte, who coached from 1985-86.
Katie Swenson will be looking to move up Northwest career assist records, needing 116 to surpass Tanya Carson for sixth all-time. Swenson averaged 10.40 per set last weekend.
About the Opponents
The Bearcats open with Drury at 4 p.m., in the first meeting between the two since 2004. Northwest won 3-1 in that match, played at Rockhurst University. Northwest holds an 11-8 advantage against the Panthers, but are only 5-6 when playing on a neutral court. Drury was predicted to finish fifth in the West Division of the Great Lakes Valley Conference Preseason Poll.
Midwestern State and Northwest will play at 7 p.m., Friday, in the second match between the two, and the first since 1980. The Bearcats took that match 15-6, 15-8 at the Oklahoma State Tournament Oct. 18. The Mustangs were chosen third in the Lone Star Conference preseason poll.
The Bearcats turn around and play another LSC team, Central Oklahoma, Saturday morning at 10 a.m. The Bronchos were receiving votes in the AVCA preseason poll after advancing to the second round of the 2007 NCAA tournament, but started the season 0-4 at the Tampa Classic.
Northwest wraps up the Missouri Southern Invitational with Dallas Baptist, a team the Bearcats faced at last season's Lady Blues Fall Classic. In the only meeting with the Patriots, the Bearcats swept 30-20, 30-19, 30-17. Dallas Baptist was picked sixth in the Heartland Conference preseason poll.
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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