Oct. 14, 2009
Date(s): October 16-17
Location: Carbondale, Ill.
Site(s): Davies Gym (1,200)
The Series: SIU leads DU 31-14; SIU trails CU 9-22
Head Coaches: Brenda Winkeler (148-139 overall, 66-67 at SIU); Phil McDaniel (25-27 overall and at DU); Kirsten Bernthal Booth (112-83 overall and at CU)
Saluki Assistant Coaches: Julie Yankus (Associate Head Coach); Katie Carrier; Jimmy White (Student Assistant)
Video Stream: www.stretchinternet.com/siuvideo.html
Click here for complete match notes
The Southern Illinois Volleyball team is in its 52nd year of existence... Head Coach Brenda Winkeler is in her fifth season with the team and holds a 66-67 (.496) record... Last season the Salukis finished with a 17-12 record and were 7-11 in MVC play, finishing in seventh... The Salukis started the 2009 season 10-0 in non-conference play, the best start in school history.
ON THE SCHEDULE THIS WEEK
The Salukis return home for the weekend in Missouri Valley Conference action taking on Drake Friday (6 p.m.) and Creighton Saturday (7 p.m.).
The Bulldogs entered the 2009 season with six returning starters and 13 returning letterwinners. DU, led by Phil McDaniel in his second season, recorded a 12-20 record overall last year and an eighth-place finish in the MVC (5-13). This season the Bulldogs are 13-7 overall and 3-4 in The Valley, currently on a two-match win streak. DU is led by Alisa DeBerg Roth at 2.53 kills per set. Alana Wittenburg adds 5.06 digs per set and Chelsea Lauersdorf leads the team at 7.96 assists per set. Michelle Reidy leads the Bulldogs at the net at 0.93 blocks per set.
The Bluejays entered the 2009 season with four returning starters and eight returning letterwinners. CU, led by Kirsten Bernthal Booth in her seventh season, recorded a 18-9 record overall last year and a second-place finish in the MVC (15-3). This season the Bluejays are 6-11 overall and 4-3 in The Valley, dropping three of their last four matches. CU is led by Allie Oelke and Jessica Houts averaging 2.68 and 2.60 kills per set respectively. Oelke also adds 2.49 digs, while Houts posts 1.45 blocks per set overall.Megan Bober leads the team in assists averaging 8.91 per set, while Nayka Benitez leads the Bluejay defense with 4.52 digs per set.
SERIES WITH CU
SIU trails the series against CU, 9-22. The Bluejays have taken the last 13 meetings with the Salukis dating back to 2002 when SIU beat the swept CU in regular-season play.
DIG FOR THE CURE
Saturday, October 17, the Salukis will take the court for "Dig for the Cure." The evening's events will be used to spread breast cancer awareness and pink t-shirts will be given to the first 100 fans.
The Saluki volleyball team has moved their match start time up for their Friday, Oct. 16 match against Drake to 6 p.m. in order to host Saluki Basketball Maroon Madness following the match.
STILL THE BEST
Despite dropping three of its last four matches, the 2009 Southern Illinois volleyball team still has the best start in program history at 13-4 through the first 17 matches of the season. The Salukis started the season a perfect 11-0 and remain unbeaten in non-conference play with one more non-conference match-up left to play against SEMO Oct. 20.
The Salukis dot the top-50 national rankings the fourth week of release in two categories. The team ranks 32nd in the nation in blocks per set (2.55) and 39th in wins (13-4, .765). The team also ranks 54th in hitting percentage (0.240) and Rachael Brown ranks 52nd in assists per set (10.52).
Right side Alicia Johnson paid her dues last season as a practice player and is ready to contribute in 2009. The junior sat out last season due to NCAA regulations after transferring from Northwest Missouri State (2007). As a freshman, she played at the University of Iowa (2006). This season she averages 2.52 kills, 2.40 digs, 0.62 assists and 0.54 blocks per set, hitting .252 on the year.
AMONG THE ELITE
The 2009 Saluki volleyball team started the season 11-0 through the first four weeks of the season. So had 14 other teams in NCAA Division I volleyball including No. 1 Penn St. (12-0), No. 16 Michigan St. (12-0), No. 19 Arizona (11-0), Washington St. (11-0), No. 3 Washington (10-0), No. 7 Oregon (10-0) and No. 2 Texas (7-0).
SALUKIS PERFECT IN NON-CONFERENCE
The 2009 Saluki volleyball team started non-conference play, 10-0, the best season start in program history. The 2008 team started the season 4-1 and back in 1976, 1981, 1985, 2000 and 2002, the Salukis opened 6-1.
WE'RE GOING STREAKING!!!
The 2009 Saluki volleyball team started the season on an 11-match win streak, setting a new school record, before falling to UNI Sept. 25. The previous record of 10 was set Oct. 26 through Nov. 23, 1985. The team also has a 12-match win streak dating back to last season after a victory over Indiana State to end last season Nov. 22, 2008.
ROBERSON OWNS RECORD
After posting three block assists in the Salukis' four-set match over Evansville Sept. 19, senior middle blocker Chandra Roberson has 43 block assists this season, bringing her career total to 339, and a new block assist record at SIU. She passed Sonya Locke (331) and Dana Olden (333) with her total for the milestone.
SALUKIS ENTER BOOKS
With 26 block assists in a four-set match against Northern Illinois Friday, Aug. 28, the Salukis rank 11th all-time at SIU for team block assists in a match.
WHAT CAN BROWN DO FOR YOU?
Saluki freshman Rachael Brown had a career weekend Oct. 2-3 recording a personal-best 54 assists in a four-set victory over Indiana State Saturday. She also tied a career-best with four block assists in the win.
Since taking over the Saluki program in 2005, head coach Brenda Winkeler is 3-2 in Missouri Valley Conference openers, sweeping Indiana State a year ago and taking down Evansville this season 3-1. In the last 11 seasons, the Salukis are 4-6 in Valley openers.
PICKED FIFTH IN PRESEASON VALLEY COACHES POLL
The Southern Illinois volleyball team was picked sixth in the 2009 MVC preseason coaches poll for the first time since Winkeler took over the program five years ago. The Salukis finished with 49 points. Southern finished seventh a year ago, missing the tournament by one spot. Defending Champion Wichita State was picked to repeat with 99 points and nine first-place votes.
ROBERSON PEPPERS THE BOOKS
Senior Chandra Roberson has made an impact in the record books after three and a half seasons at SIU. The middle blocker just broke the record for career block assists at SIU. She is also fifth in solo blocks in a career with 98, and is eighth in career hitting percentage at .272 in over three seasons. If she remains healthy, she should enter the record books in matches played, sets played, career attempts and career kills by the end of the 2009 season.
Saluki head coach Brenda Winkeler wasn't kidding when she said the 2009 SIU volleyball team had depth. In one match, Winkeler has used as many as all 14 student-athletes on the court during one match, usually averaging 11 in any match during the first 10 matches of the season. She uses as many as four middle blockers or defensive specialists during a match and three right sides or outside hitters.
Junior outside hitter Jen Berwanger returns after landing on the first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference last season. As a sophomore, she put up impressive numbers that landed her in the top-10 in SIU single-season history in digs (434, 7th), kills per set (3.64, 10th), attempts per set (10.31, 2nd) and attempts (1103, 5th). Berwanger currently ranks sixth in career attempts per set (7.63).
BROWN EARNS THE TRI-FECTA
Southern Illinois volleyball player Rachael Brown was named the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Freshman of the Week for the third time this season Sept. 21. She averaged 10.51 assists, 0.60 blocks and 1.53 digs per set this season. She also earned the award Aug. 31 and Sept. 14.
BERWANGER EARNS WEEKLY SCHOLAR-ATHLETE HONORS, TWICE
Jennifer Berwanger of Southern Illinois University has been selected the Prairie Farms/Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week Sept. 1 and Sept. 8. Berwanger, who has a 3.86 cumulative grade-point average in therapeutic recreation and physical therapy, earned all-tournament honors including an MVP nod two weeks in a row.
SALUKIS STRIVE IN THE CLASSROOM
For the fourth-straight season, the Saluki volleyball team was awarded the GamePlan/AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2008-09 season. The team held a 3.56 cumulative grade point average for the 2008-09 school year. They were one of eight Valley teams to be recognized and held the top GPA in the Missouri Valley Conference.
SIU 3.56 WSU 3.51 DU 3.50 INS 3.40 ILS 3.40 UE 3.36 CU 3.35 BU 3.32
SALUKIS STAY FRESH
The 2009 Saluki freshmen are ready to step in and contribute. The freshmen class is the largest on the team with five newcomers, including high school and club teammates setter Rachael Brown and defensive specialist Bailey Yeager from Brownsburg, Ind. Outside hitter Laura Thole (Breese, Ill.) and middle blocker Alysia Mayes (Ashkum, Ill.) will be expected to contribute to the Saluki offense.
BERWANGER, BROWN EARN WEEKLY HONORS
Saluki volleyball players Jen Berwanger and Rachael Brown were named the Missouri Valley Conference Player and Freshman of the Week respectively August 31 for their efforts at the NIU Invitational in DeKalb, Ill. Berwanger posted two double-doubles, leading the team in kills in all four matches. The junior averaged 4.29 kills, 3.36 digs and 0.64 service aces per set, hitting .248 over the weekend. Brown recorded her first career double-double, averaging 10.21 assists, 1.50 digs and 0.43 blocks per set in four matches.