DePaul Set For Western Michigan
Western Michigan Tourney, Kalamazoo, MI
Fri., Sept. 6 - DePaul vs. Wright State - 5 p.m.
Sat., Sept. 7 - DePaul vs. Michigan State - 10:30 a.m.
- DePaul vs. Western Michigan - 7 p.m.
CHICAGO - The DePaul women's volleyball team approaches its second invitational of the season as it travels to Kalmazoo, MI this weekend for the Western Michigan Tournament. The Blue Demons go head to head with Wright State on Friday at 5 p.m. and take on Michigan State and Western Michigan on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 7 p.m., respectively.
The Blue Demons commenced their season at the Eastern Illinois Invitational in Charleston last weekend. The young team posted a 1-2 record after defeating Chattanooga, losing to Toledo in 4 games and Eastern Illinois in 5 games. Head Coach Dawn Dockstader seems hopeful after the weekend. "Our outsides need to become much more consistent and more of a force. "Meg Griffin did a great job attacking and blocking on the right side," she says. Dockstader also seems confident in her team's new setter, Amie West. "For it being a first start for West, she did an amazing job. She spread out her sets and utilized all of her attackers." West had 147 assists over the weekend as well as 35 digs. Katie Engel led the team in kills with 41. Lara Marks had 37 kills and a total of 17 blocks. Both Engel and Marks made the all-tournament team.
Dockstader and the Blue Demons look forward to this weekend's tournament. "It's going to be a tough tournament," Dockstader says. "We're a young team, but this is exactly the level of competition we want to play. We have to go in with all cylinders clicking. We need to enter the tournament in the right frame of mind and make the best out of it."
Sizing up the Competition
Michigan State, ranked ninth in the country, enters the tournament with an undefeated 3-0 start to their season. The Spartans boast 5 returning starters, losing just one outside hitter from their 2001 team. Included are standout setter, Nikki Colson and 6-foot-4 middle Angela Morley.
Wright State returns with leaders Karis Day, Horizon League Player of the Year, senior setter Mandy Gels, and outside hitter Tricia Naseman. The Raiders record stands as 2-1 after their loss to 16th ranked Minnesota, who they took to 5 games, and consecutive wins over North Carolina State and Florida Atlantic.
Western Michigan's three-loss start to Connecticut, Colorado State, and Kansas State is by no means a clear reflection of their team's efforts. Colorado State and Kansas State are both in the top 25 programs in the country and Western Michigan is near the top of the Mid-America Conference.