Volleyball to Open Season at Northern Illinois Invitational
CHICAGO-The 2001 DePaul volleyball season gets underway Friday, August 31 when the Blue Demons take on Creighton at 4:30 p.m. in the Northern Illinois Invitational. On Saturday, September 1, DePaul battles Texas San-Antonio at 2:30 p.m. and closes the tournament against Northern Illinois at 8:00 p.m.
Coming off last year's 21-12 campaign expectations are high for this Blue Demon team as 10 letterwinners including all six starters return. The team is led by preseason All-Conference USA selection senior Stephanie Bishop. Joining Bishop are returning starters and seniors Christa Dirr, Kara Jakusz and Melissa Nordine along with returning starters and juniors Meg Griffin and Katie Engel.
In addition to the returning starters, seniors Mary Anne Flanigan and Melissa Murphy return along with sophomores Janet Cotter and Lara Marks. Freshman Janet Goreham, Amy Holmes, Amie West and Eden Laurin are new arrivals to the team this season.
With a good mixture of experience and youth, the Blue Demons are selected fifth in the preseason Conference USA Coaches Poll. DePaul finished fifth in the conference last season with a 10-6 record. Louisville is the coaches selection to win the conference followed by Cincinnati, Houston and South Florida (tie 3rd), DePaul, Tulane, TCU, St. Louis, Marquette, Charlotte, Memphis, Southern Mississippi, East Carolina and UAB.
In addition to Bishop, Michelle Collier of South Florida, Colleen Hunter of St. Louis, Stacey Mercer of Louisville, Bonita Wise of Cincinnati and Jennifer Wittenburg of Houston are selections on the preseason All-Conference USA team. Collier is also the preseason Player of the Year selection.