Sept. 9, 2010
Bearcats Head to Texas for Tournament
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The Northwest Missouri State volleyball squad will travel south this weekend to Austin, Texas, for the St. Edward’s Classic on Friday and Saturday. The Bearcats last traveled to Texas in 2007 when they played in the SEU classic that year as well.
The Bearcats will open the tournament on Friday at noon against Abilene Christian. ACU is coming off of a split last weekend at the Oredigger Volleyball Classic in Colorado. The Wildcats are led by Shawna Hines who has 49 kills on the young season and is hitting .330.
Northwest will end day one playing host-St. Edward’s at 4 p.m. The Hilltopper’s split their weekend as well last week at the West Texas A&M Classic. The Bearcats last played SEU in 2007, Sara Falcone and Rachel Nisi led all returning Bearcats in that 0-3 loss with nine and eight kills, respectively.
The Bearcats open the second day of the classic against Dallas Baptist at 10 a.m. The Patriots come into the tournament with a 3-2 record and are led by Kaylyn Frink’s 61 kills.
Northwest will end the tournament against Texas A&M-Kingsville. The Javelinas finished 1-3 last weekend at the Davis and Elkins Tournament.
Northwest opened 2010 last weekend at the UNO Showcase where the Bearcats finished 2-2. Head Coach Jessica Rinehart was pleased with the way her team played in the tournament.
“Overall I thought it went well,” said Rinehart. “We started out tight and we should have won that first match against Adams State but we did a good job of bouncing back after that and getting the sweep over Midwestern State.”
Northwest also got its first experience against a ranked opponent last weekend when they faced then ninth-ranked Minnesota-Duluth. The Bearcats fell in four sets but coach Rinehart felt that the team performed well.
“We finished the tournament really strong against UMD,” said Rinehart. “We played with them point-for-point and also took a game from them in the match.”
Junior Alex Hanna led the Bearcats last weekend with 53 kills including a career-high 20 against Newman. Amber Ryan led the Bearcats with a .392 hitting percentage during the tournament and setter Laira Akin averaged 8.88 assists per match. Sara Falcone led the Bearcat defense with 17 total blocks in the four matches.
The Bearcats will also look to improve on some things in particular this weekend in Texas in order to prepare them for the grueling MIAA schedule.
“We need to have more energy and intensity for every single match,” said Rinehart. “I thought we had a lot more energy against Minnesota-Duluth than in our other matches.” “We also need to really improve our blocking and defense. I thought our blocking was weak last weekend and we’ve been working on that a lot this week in practice.”
The Bearcats’ games this weekend will be their last before they begin conference play on September 14.
“Competition this weekend will be very solid,” said Rinehart “They’re all very good teams and it will be great preparation for conference for us. I think it’s going to be great and I’m very excited for this tournament.”
For more information, please contact:
Phillip Dowden, Media Relations/Sports Information
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