Aug. 23, 2012
Game Notes - SFC Terrier Invitational | Listen Live on the Hawks Radio Network! | Live Video
BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y. -- The University of Maryland Eastern Shore Hawks volleyball team begins its quest to repeat as the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Champion, kicking off the year with the SFC Terrier Invitational in Brooklyn Heights, New York at the Anthony J. Genovesi Center. UMES starts the season with a 1 p.m. match against NJIT on Friday, August 24th. On Saturday, the Hawks take on tournament host St. Francis at 11 a.m., following up with a 1:30 p.m. match vs. Radford.
IOSIA NAMED PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Saitaua Iosia, the 2011 MEAC Rookie of the Year, was voted the MEAC Preseason Player of the Year by the conference in July. The sophomore led the MEAC with 472 kills and 4.77 points per set last season, finishing in the top 50 in Division I in 2011 in points, aces and kills per set. Iosia added 49 aces, 268 digs and 54 total blocks.
HAWKS PICKED TO FINISH FIRST IN MEAC NORTH
UMES has been picked to finish first in the MEAC Northern Division in the conference preseason poll, receiving 24 out of a possible 26 first-place votes. The Hawks have won the MEAC North all five years of Don Metil's tenure, going a combined 50-2 in MEAC regular season matches. Hampton was picked to finish second, while Florida A&M was predicted to take first in the MEAC South.
UMES WINS 2011 MEAC CHAMPIONSHIP
IOSIA, VICIC NAMED TO MEAC PRESEASON TEAM
With a five-set victory over Florida A&M, UMES won the MEAC Championship for the first time in school history on November 20th in Baltimore. In the final game, with the score tied at seven, UMES went on a 5-0 run, capped by three blocks, to go up 12-7, leading to a 15-12 set win. Saitaua Iosia, named the Most Outstanding Performer in the tournament, scored the final kill, totaling 25 along with 11 digs for a double-double. Maline Vaitai also earned a double-double, notching 10 kills and 11 digs. Don Metil earned Most Outstanding Coach of the tournament.
UMES had two players, sophomores Saitaua Iosia
and Jessie Vicic
, selected to the 2012 MEAC Volleyball Preseason Team, more than any other school. Iosia led the conference in 2011 with 472 kills, adding 49 aces and 268 digs. Vicic led the MEAC in assists with 1,209, being the only player in the conference to average double digit assists with 10.42 per set. UMES has had at least two players named to the MEAC Volleyball Preseason Team the last three years.
UMES EARNS MEAC ROOKIE, COACH OF THE YEAR
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference announced that Saitaua Iosia was recognized as the conference Rookie of the Year, while Don Metil earned Coach of the Year. Iosia finished first in the MEAC in points and kills per set, with a .301 hitting percentage, earning 472 kills and 49 aces. Metil led the Hawks to a perfect 12-0 conference record and fifth straight MEAC Northern Division title, earning the conference honor for the third time. Iosia was joined by Jessie Vicic on the All-MEAC First Team. Vicic led the conference this year with 10.58 assists per set and 1,195 assists overall. Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa earned All-MEAC Second Team, going top-five in the conference in hitting percentage at .296 and blocks with 86.
IOSIA - RUSSELL HBCU FEMALE MVP OF THE YEAR
Saitaua Iosia was voted as the first-ever Russell HBCU Female MVP of the Year, selected by fans over Whiquitta Tobar of Alabama A&M, LaQwesha Gamble of Johnson C. Smith, Victoria Lewis of Chowan and Jamila McKinnis of Stillman. The awards, started for the 2011-12 season, showcase all HBCUs in the country and are sponsored by Russell Athletic, the official apparel provider of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference and the Southwestern Athletic Conference.
2011 IN REVIEW
UMES had its best year in school history, earning its first-ever MEAC Championship and berth in the NCAA Tournament with a 24-7 record. After earning a share of the championship in the Bryant and Brown Invitationals, following up with being the outright champion of the UMES Hawk Invitational, the Maroon and Gray won all 12 matches in the conference regular season to win MEAC Northern Division for the fifth-consecutive year. After victories over North Carolina Central and Hampton in the first two rounds of the MEAC Tournament, the Hawks defeated Florida A&M in the championship for the title. UMES earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament, falling to 9-seed and eventual national champion UCLA in Los Angeles in the first round.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS:
NJIT (New Jersey Institute of Technology) finished last year at 11-18, ending the season in the semifinals of the Great West. 2011 All-Great West Second Team senior outside hitter Janet Snell led the Highlanders with 409 kills last season, also contributing 300 digs. Junior middle blocker Julia Colombo had a team high 55 total blocks, adding 193 kills.
Tournament host St. Francis, representative of the Northeast Conference, went 1-31 in the 2011 season. The Terriers return their top five scorers, including senior outside hitter Marina Georgieva, who led the team with 343 kills and 43 aces last season. Senior Naomi Flinders had 221 kills last year, also serving as a reserve setter with 261 assists.
Radford was the runner-up to Liberty in the 2011 Big South Championship, ending with a 17-15 record. Two First Team All-Big South players return from last year's squad: sophomore middle blocker Emma Deininger earned triple digit kills and blockers with 237 and 114 respectively, while sophomore libero Rachel Brummitt led the conference with 688 digs, adding 40 service aces.
UMES returns its five top players in kills from last season. Saitaua Iosia led the Hawks with 472 kills, Maline Vaitai was second with 317, Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa followed with 203, Ndidi Ibe notched 171, and Victoria Williams earned 133. The returning Hawks make up 91% (1314 out of 1447) of the team's kills from 2011.
STILL MIGHTY IN THE MIDDLE
At middle blocker, UMES returns two of the top four blockers in the MEAC last season who also were in the top four in hitting percentage. Senior Ndidi Ibe was just one of two MEAC players, the other being Shabree Roberson of South Carolina State, to earn triple digit kills and blocks last year, finishing with 171 kills with a .308 hitting percentage and 113 blocks. Despite missing a few matches due to injury, All-MEAC Second Team junior Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa racked up 206 kills, hitting .296 with 88 total blocks.
LOOKING FOR A NEW LIBERO
The Hawks will be seeking a new libero after the departure of Rebecca Prado. Two players will be in the mix: returning junior Jingqiao Li, who was the starting libero in 2010 and played in 18 matches last season with 35 digs, and incoming junior college transfer Megan Mueller, who had 521 digs in 2011 with Jefferson College.
NO KANGAROOS IN AUSTRIA
Two players from Austria join the Hawks this season, outside hitter Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger and setter Elli Steiner, both bringing national team experience to the Maroon and Gray. Since the 2005 season, UMES volleyball has included European players from France, Serbia, Sweden and Switzerland. In addition, UMES has two other international players: Jingqiao Li from China and Jessie Vicic from Canada.
METIL EARNS 200TH CAREER WIN
Don Metil won his 100th match at UMES on September 30th, 2011 with a shutout victory over Alabama State. He also earned his 200th victory as a head coach on November 18th, 2011 after a five-set win over North Carolina Central. With the Hawks, Metil sports a 117-39 record. Metil's first win in Division I came at Coppin State against UMES 3-2 on Sept. 25, 2005, while his first UMES win came against Coppin State 3-0 on Aug. 24, 2007. He has earned over 200 victories including stops at Notre Dame (MD), Lees-McRae and Coppin State.
VAITAI APPROACHING 1,000-KILL CLUB
Maline Vaitai stands at 742 kills in her career, just 276 away from becoming a member of the 1,000-kill club. The 2010 MEAC Rookie of the Year had 407 kills as a freshman and 317 in 2011. The UMES 1,000-kill club in the 25-point era includes Whitney Johnson (1,225) and Caylin Woodward (1,132).
UMES 2ND LONGEST ACTIVE HOME WINNING STREAK
Winning their last 24 matches in Princess Anne, the Hawks have the second-longest home winning streak in Division I, trailing only Texas. Their last loss in the Hytche Athletic Center came on Sept. 26, 2009 with a 3-0 defeat from Sacred Heart. In addition, this streak marks the longest in the MEAC. In their match against CSU Bakersfield on October 1st, UMES's 53-set winning streak at home ended.
Team Current Home Win Streak (as of 9/1)
1- Texas 30
2- UMES 24
3- Furman 15
UMES MATCHES TO AIR ON WGOP
WGOP 540 AM and 100.7 FM returns as the flagship station of Hawks volleyball and will air all matches live on the radio this year. Dave Vatz returns for his third season with UMES and will provide play-by-play for each match, with WGOP producers Suzy Rummel and Steve Pettit operating from the Pocomoke City studio. Fans can listen online on umeshawks.com.
HALFWAY `ROUND THE WORLD
UMES will play in five different states during non-conference tournaments, traveling a total of over eight thousand miles for these matches. The Hawks will head to New York, Georgia, West Virginia, Alabama and California to play in non-conference competition.
SFC TERRIER INVITATIONAL SCHEDULE
Friday, August 24th
Rider @ St. Francis (NY) 10:30 a.m.
UMES vs. NJIT 1:00 p.m.
NJIT vs. Radford 3:30 p.m.
Radford @ St. Francis (NY) 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, August 25th
UMES @ St. Francis (NY) 11:00 a.m.
UMES vs. Radford 1:30 p.m.
NJIT @ St. Francis (NY) 4:00 p.m.