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Northwest Bearcats

Press Release

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Sept. 1, 2011

Bearcat Volleyball Begins 2011 Season at UNO Showcase

MARYVILLE, Mo.-The Northwest Missouri State volleyball team begins the 2011 season this weekend at the Nebraska-Omaha Volleyball Showcase.  The Bearcats will play a pair of games both Friday and Saturday at the tournament.

The Bearcats will open with Minnesota State Moorhead at 12:30 p.m. Friday and then end the day with Northern State at 4:30 p.m.

On Saturday the Bearcats will face Augustana at 10 a.m., and will finish the tournament playing Winona State at 2 p.m.

The Bearcats begin the 2011 season coming off their first-ever NCAA Tournament Regional berth with the returning leadership of 2010 standouts Laira Akin and Alex Hanna.

Akin, a senior setter from Blue Springs, Mo., was a MIAA third-team selection and was third in the MIAA last season with a 9.93 assists per set average.  Her 1,063 assists in 2010 accounted for 89 percent of Northwest's season output.  Akin was third on the 2010 squad in digs (206), blocks (60) and aces (27).

 Senior outside hitter Alex Hanna was a 2010 MIAA honorable mention choice.  Hanna led the Bearcats in 2010, and was fourth in the league, averaging 3.17 kills per set.  Her 339 kills were the third-most in the conference last season and Hanna also led the team and was fourth in the MIAA with 36 service aces in 2010.

Coach Rinehart also anticipates middle-hitter Amy Majors and libero Tori Beckman to be big contributors after having standout performances throughout the preseason. 

For the 2011 season the Bearcats brought in a large freshman recruiting class, which consisted of seven players whom have all played at a high level and have many accolades amongst them.  

"We have two members from the number one high school team in the nation, and five players that are coming off playing at the National Tournament for club." Coach Rinehart said. "Brooke Bartosh was named to the National All-Tournament team and is someone we anticipate making a difference for us on the court."  Coach Rinehart also anticipates Abby Graves, Bailey Vance and Kirsten Hudgens filling in big roles on the court.

"We have just concluded one of the most successful pre-seasons that I have been a part of" Rinehart said.  "The team worked extremely hard and had great attitudes throughout.  We're excited to face new competition this weekend, to get a gage on where we are at."


For more information, please contact:

Media Relations Department, Northwest Athletics
sid@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1118 | Fax: 660.562.1582

Northwest Athletics
Lamkin Activity Center | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468