HAWKS ARE CALIFORNIA DREAMIN'
Saitaua Iosia will head back to her home state of California as UMES plays in the Roadrunner Invite.
Saitaua Iosia will head back to her home state of California as UMES plays in the Roadrunner Invite.

Sept. 18, 2012

Game Notes - Roadrunner Invite

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- The Hawks are off to the West Coast to compete in their final non-conference tournament, playing in the Roadrunner Invite in Bakersfield, California. UMES will play tournament host CSU Bakersfield at the Icardo Center on Thursday, Sept. 20th at 10 p.m. ET. Then on Friday, the Hawks take on Utah Valley at 3 p.m. ET before finishing up with a rematch against CSU Bakersfield at 10 p.m. ET.

UMES SWEEPS MEAC WEEKLY AWARDS
After winning the ASU Tournament, UMES took both conference weekly awards, with Victoria Williams earning MEAC Player of the Week and Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger being honored as MEAC Rookie of the Week. Williams hit .346 with 59 kills, hitting double digit kills each match, while Ebster-Schwarzenberger had 41 kills and 10 service aces.

ASU TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS
Going 4-0 in Montgomery, Alabama, the Hawks are the champions of the ASU Tournament after defeating North Texas and Alabama State on Friday, then Troy and Jackson State on Saturday. A number of UMES players set new career highs: Victoria Williams earned 19 kills against North Texas, Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger had 15 kills against UNT and five aces versus Troy, Jessie Vicic set 62 assists in UMES's opening match and Megan Mueller had 14 digs against Troy.

 

 

TOP SERVING TEAM IN THE NATION
The Hawks lead all of Division I in aces per set, averaging 2.12 aces per game and totaling 123 in 58 sets. Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa stands at 16th in D-I with 30 aces for 0.52 each game, and Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger is 250th at 0.3 aces a set, totaling 12 in 40 games. UMES led all of D-I in aces per set in 2007, 2009 and 2010.

UMES IS THE TOP HITTING TEAM IN THE MEAC......
UMES is the top hitting team in the MEAC, earning a .252 hitting percentage so far in 2012, standing nearly 50 percentage points above second place Hampton at .204. Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa is hitting .332, the second-best percentage in the conference, with 115 kills and just 36 errors in 238 attacks. Four other UMES players are in the top-8: Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger is 5th at .306, Saitaua Iosia is 6th at .279, Ndidi Ibe is 7th at .264, and Victoria Williams is 8th at .253.

...AND THE TOP DEFENSIVE TEAM IN THE LEAGUE
The Hawks have allowed opponents to hit just .152, over 40 percentage points ahead of second place Coppin State at .193. UMES averages 1.93 blocks per set, fourth in the MEAC, led by Ndidi Ibe's 1.02 blocks per set, second-strongest in the conference.

UMES NOT BEING A GOOD GUEST
Tournament hosts have felt the wrath of UMES this season. The Hawks have won all four of their road matches to start the year, beating St. Francis (NY), Savannah State, West Virginia and Alabama State. Dating back to previous seasons, the Hawks have won against their last ten road non-conference tournament hosts. Their last loss against a road tournament host came on Sept. 9, 2010, when UMES fell to Rhode Island in five.

VAITAI APPROACHING 1,000-KILL CLUB
Maline Vaitai stands at 882 kills in her career, just 118 away from becoming a member of the 1,000-kill club. Vaitai had 21 kills in a five-set win over North Texas on September 14th. 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).

VICIC TRYING TO BE UMES'S TOP ALL-TIME SETTER
Jessie Vicic, a member of the All-MEAC Preseason Team, is closing in on the all-time assists mark in UMES history. Currently, the sophomore stands at 1,820 assists, third all-time in Hawks history. Christina Estebané is currently the all-time leader with 2,233 assists from 2007-08, and Yael Rozner is second, getting 2,085 assists from 2005-06.

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.

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS:
Tournament host CSU Bakersfield, currently not affiliated with a conference, is 3-7 and will play its home opener against UMES. The Roadrunners last played in the Colorado Invitational, falling to Colorado in five and shutting out MEAC-team Norfolk State. Junior transfer Debora Araujo, from Western Nebraska C.C., sports a team-best 151 kills and nine aces, adding 26 blocks. The team's top middle blocker is junior Julia Bowen, who has 36 blocks as well as 30 kills.

Going into September 17th, Utah Valley is riding a four-match winning streak and stands at 6-4, having won a pair of matches in the Utah Classic last weekend. Utah Valley represents the Great West Conference, which UMES is 1-0 against this year after its season opening victory over NJIT. Freshman middle blocker Lauren Stringham sports a team-high 54 blocks, adding 66 kills with a .284 hitting %. Reigning GWC Setter of the Year Brookelyn Hall leads the Wolverines with 354 assists and 18 service aces.

WVU GOLDEN HORSESHOE CHALLENGE CHAMPION
The Hawks won all three matches in the WVU Golden Horseshoe Challenge, including against tournament host and Big 12 Conference member West Virginia, to win their second invitational of the season. UMES defeated WVU in four sets, following up with wins against St. Peter's and Wright State. Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa was named MVP with 26 kills, while Victoria Williams and Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger earned All-Tournament Team.

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.

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 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 for the period ending Sept. 2nd. That 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.

METIL - BEST COACH IN UMES HISTORY
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 131-40 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.

UMES 2ND LONGEST ACTIVE HOME WINNING STREAK
Winning their last 24 matches in Princess Anne, the Hawks have the longest home winning streak in Division I. UMES took over the top spot after previous the previous leader, Texas, lost to Minnesota on Sept. 7, 2012. UMES's last loss in the Hytche Athletic Center came on Sept. 26, 2009 with a 3-0 defeat from Sacred Heart. The first home match this season will be October 5th when the Hawks play Coppin State at 7 p.m.

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, with WGOP producers Suzy Rummel and Steve Pettit operating from the Pocomoke City studio. Fans can listen online on umeshawks.com.

ROADRUNNER INVITE SCHEDULE (all Eastern Time)
Thursday, September 20th
UMES @ CSU Bakersfield 10:00 p.m.

Friday, September 21st
UMES v. Utah Valley 3:00 p.m.
UMES @ CSU Bakersfield 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 22nd
Utah Valley @ CSU Bakersfield 10:00 p.m.