Game Notes - WVU Golden Horseshoe Challenge
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MORGANTOWN, W.V. -- The Hawks will head across the Maryland border this weekend to Morgantown, West Virginia to compete in three matches in the WVU Golden Horseshoe Challenge. UMES will start with tournament host West Virginia at the WVU Coliseum on Friday, September 7th at 3 p.m. The next day, the Hawks will play a pair of matches, beginning with St. Peter's at 10 a.m. and later Wright State at 2 p.m.
IOSIA EARNS MEAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN
For the second straight week, Saitaua Iosia has been named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Week. This past weekend, the sophomore outside hitter totaled 59 kills and 43 digs in four matches, including double doubles against Southern Utah, tallying 21 kills and 19 digs, and UNC Asheville, earning 11 kills and 11 digs.
HAWKS TAKE SECOND PLACE IN TIGER INVITATIONAL
The Maroon and Gray had a strong showing in the Tiger Invitational in Savannah last weekend, going 4-1 over the three days to take second place. UMES went 1-1 on the first day with wins over Southern Utah and a loss to New Mexico, ending with three straight shutout victories over UNC Asheville, Kennesaw State and tournament host Savannah State. Saitaua Iosia finished with 59 kills and 43 digs in the tournament, while Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa hit .324 with 35 kills and 13 service aces.
UMES IS THE TOP HITTING TEAM IN THE MEAC......
UMES is the top hitting team in the MEAC, earning a .265 hitting percentage so far in 2012, standing over 60 points above second place North Carolina Central at .203. The top two players in hitting percentage in the conference each play for the Hawks: Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa is hitting .365 with 61 kills and just 15 errors in 126 attacks, while Saitaua Iosia is at .316 with 123 kills, 36 errors and 275 total attacks.
...AND THE TOP DEFENSIVE TEAM IN THE LEAGUE
The Hawks have allowed opponents to hit just .160, over 40 points ahead of second place Delaware State at .204. UMES averages a league-leading 2.1 blocks per set, led by Ndidi Ibe's 1.1 blocks per set, which is also the best in the MEAC. No other conference team averages over two blocks a set.
IOSIA NAMED AVCA DIVISION I PLAYER OF THE WEEK
For the second time in her career, Saitaua Iosia was honored as the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Player of the Week for the period ending August 26th. She is the only player in MEAC history to earn this honor. She had three double doubles in the SFC Terrier Invitational, finishing with 64 kills with a .357 hitting percentage and 47 digs.
HAWKS WIN THE SFC TERRIER INVITATIONAL
UMES is the champion of the SFC Terrier Invitational after the Hawks swept the competition in the Big Apple, defeating NJIT, tournament host St. Francis (NY) and Radford, all in four sets, to begin the season at 3-0. Iosia led the Hawks with 64 kills and 47 digs, earning double doubles in all three matches. Ndidi Ibe and Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa each hit over .420 with at least 25 kills and 12 blocks each.
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 conference matches. Hampton was picked to finish second, while Florida A&M was predicted to take first in the MEAC South.
IOSIA, VICIC NAMED TO MEAC PRESEASON TEAM
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.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS:
Tournament host West Virginia is in its first year as a member of the Big 12 Conference after moving from the Big East. Currently the Mountaineers are 3-4, with six of their seven matches having gone just three sets. WVU is coming off playing in the Mason Inn Patriot Invitational, defeating Navy and falling to South Carolina and George Mason last weekend. The team is led by freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett, who has 87 kills and eight aces, each team highs. Freshman middle blocker has 24 blocks, adding 44 kills with a .347 hitting percentage.
Going into Wednesday's match with St. Francis (NY), St. Peter's is 1-6. The win on August 24th was the program's first victory since November 14th, 2010 against Fairfield. UMES senior setter Corey Haynes played with St. Peter's during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, transferring to UMES in 2011. A pair of Peacocks have 60+ kills and double digit aces: junior outside hitter Laura Reinhart sports 64 kills and 11 aces, while freshman right side hitter Lauren Behrens has 62 kills and 12 blocks.
Wright State is still looking for its first win going into the weekend, standing at 0-8 after Tuesday's three-set defeat against IPFW on Tuesday. This is Wright State's second tournament in the state of West Virginia having started the season in the Thunder Invitational, hosted by Marshall in Huntington. Heidi Splinter, a junior outside hitter, has 74 kills for the Raiders, adding 74 digs as well. The top front row player is freshman Marisa Aiello, who hits .234 with 58 kills and 18 total blocks.
Also competing in the tournament is Radford, which is 4-4, but the Highlanders will not face UMES this weekend. UMES and Radford played two weeks ago in the SFC Terrier Invitational in New York, with the Hawks winning in four sets.
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.
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.
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 is the winningest coach in UMES volleyball history with a 124-40 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 813 kills in her career, just 187 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, currently standing with 89. The UMES 1,000-kill club in the 25-point era includes Whitney Johnson (1,225) and Caylin Woodward (1,132). Teammate Saitaua Iosia currently stands with 595 kills, including 123 this season.
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. UMES's first home match this season will be on October 5th, when the Hawks play Coppin State at 7 p.m.
Team Current Home Win Streak (as of 9/5)
1- Texas 33
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 for its second season 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.
WVU GOLDEN HORSESHOE CHALLENGE SCHEDULE
Friday, September 7th
St. Peter's vs. Wright State 1:00 p.m.
UMES @ West Virginia 3:00 p.m.
Radford vs. Wright State 5:30 p.m.
St. Peter's @ West Virginia 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, September 8th
UMES vs. St. Peter's 10:00 a.m.
Radford @ West Virginia 12:00 p.m.
UMES vs. Wright State 2:00 p.m.
Wright State @ West Virginia 6:30 p.m.