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2014 WAC Volleyball Preview

Bakersfield Roadrunners

Head Coach: Giovana Melo (Arizona State, ‘02)                     Roadrunner Links
2013 Record: 21-12 / 12-4 WAC
Complete Schedule
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/3 Roster

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Head Coach Giovana Melo


  • Senior Molly O’Hagan was named second team All-WAC last year after ranking second on team in hitting percentage (.327) and kills (356). A member of the ‘Runners’ sand volleyball team, she played in the No. 1 slot with Debora Araujo and reached the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Invitational.

  • Redshirt senior Mariah Alvidrez posted 609 digs in 2013, the fourth most in a season in school history. Alvidrez along with partner Shayna Guitare led the Bakersfield sand volleyball team in victories (13) playing in the No. 2 slot. Alvidrez and Guitare reached the semifinals of the Pac-12 Invitational.

  • Junior Kelsee Sawyer led Bakersfield in service aces (31) and was third in kills (348) last season. Sawyer had a career-high 25 kills on a career-high 80 attempts against UMKC Oct. 5, 2013. The 80 attempts were a school Division I record for a five-set match.

  • Although Sophie Flemion sat out the indoor season as a redshirt within the Bakersfield program, Flemion played during the sand season and finished in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Invitational with fellow indoor redshirt Sydney Haynes.

  • Bakersfield takes on No. 7 Nebraska as part of the Flyer-Raider Invitational Sept. 20.

  • The Bakersfield volleyball team becomes the first ‘Runner program to host a WAC Tournament in 2014 when the league championship comes to the Icardo Center Nov. 20-22.

Chicago State Cougars

Head Coach: TBA                   
Cougar Links
2013 Record: 2-29 / 0-16 WAC
Complete Schedule
Starters Returning/Lost: 2/5 Roster

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Interim Head Coach Dawn Barnes


  • The Cougars will play a school-record 20 home matches this year thanks to hosting three tournaments at the Jacoby Dickens Center.

  • Mia Townsell enters her senior year with 70 career service aces, tied for third all-time. She needs 38 in 2014 to equal Stacy Cole’s 108. She also had 830 career digs, second all-time in Chicago State history. Only her sister Mysta Townsell (1,314) has recorded more digs in a CSU uniform.

  • Julia Menhart led the Cougars with 293 digs in 2013, the eighth-most in a single season during the rally scoring era (2001-present).

  • Chinwendu Ngwadom’s 51 block assists in 2013 are tied for seventh-most in a single season during the rally scoring era (2001-present).

  • The Cougars took home the 2013-14 AVCA Team Academic Award for their work in the classroom.

  • While the Cougars dropped all 16 WAC matches last season, they did win sets from six of the eight 2013 WAC teams.

Grand Canyon Antelopes

Head Coach: Kris Naber (Grand Canyon, ‘91)                     Antelope Links
2013 Record: 12-19 / 4-12 WAC
Complete Schedule
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/5 Roster

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Head Coach Kris Naber


  • Libero Mackenzie Phelps led the WAC in digs and became the school’s all-time career leader in the category with 1,877. She set the Grand Canyon and WAC single-match record with 52 digs in a five-set match against Central Connecticut State on Sept. 13.

  • Last season, Phelps and Lanie Muys were named WAC Player of the Week in back-to-back weeks.

  • GCU wrapped up its initial season in Division I with back-to-back wins at Antelope Gymnasium against Abilene Christian and Incarnate Word.

  • With six players selected, GCU ranked second among WAC schools on the league’s all-academic team.

  • Ten of the 16 players on the 2014 roster are newcomers. The team includes players from Texas, Arizona, Washington, California, Illinois, Nevada, Colorado and Serbia, as well as transfers that played collegiately in Montana, Florida and South Carolina.

  • Grand Canyon welcomes four other Division I transitioning programs (Omaha, UMass-Lowell, Incarnate Word and Northern Kentucky) and D-I independent NJIT for a tournament Nov. 21-22.

Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos

Head CoachChristi Posey (Kansas, ‘82)                     Kangaroo Links
2013 Record: 15-14 / 9-7 WAC
Complete Schedule
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/1 Roster

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Head Coach Christi Posey

  • Missouri-Kansas City finished with a winning record in back-to-back seasons for the first time in school history (finished 17-13 in 2012 and 15-14 in 2013) and finished above .500 for just the third time ever.

  • Taryn Miller’s 537 digs ranked as the fifth most in a single season in school history and her 4.88 digs per set ranks third, while she moved into sixth place all-time in career digs with 1,077 and second in digs per set at 4.81.

  • Emma Hagedorn broke the school record for block assists with 128, while finishing second in total blocks at 144.  Her 14 blocks vs. Penn on Sept. 7, meanwhile, tied the school record.

  • The ‘Roos will host instate and SEC power Missouri for the first time since Sept. 11, 2002, when they lost 3-0.  Overall, the ‘Roos are 3-21 against the Tigers, including 2-8 at home.

  • Morgan Voorhes and Melissa Hartsel are the ‘Roos’ two seniors, while Adasia Bromberger and Emma Dyer are the lone freshmen.

  • Redshirt junior Sydney Crimmins was named all-tournament at each of the ‘Roos’ three preseason tournaments last year. She started her career at UMKC as a member of the women’s basketball team, playing her freshman season as a ‘Roos hoopster.

New Mexico State Aggies

Head Coach: Mike Jordan (University of Phoenix, ‘01)                    Aggie Links
2013 Record: 22-11 / 14-2 WAC
Complete Schedule
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/3 Roster

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Head Coach Mike Jordan

  • The Aggies swept Bakersfield in the WAC Tournament title match to earn their second consecutive WAC title last year. WAC Player of the Year Desiree Scott was named WAC Tournament MVP.

  • With a 14-2 record in 2013, the Aggies captured their second WAC regular-season title.  It was the Aggies’ first outright title, as they shared the 2008 title with Hawai’i.

  • In WAC play last year, the Aggies went undefeated at home, winning all eight matches at the Pan American Center.  NM State’s last home loss came against New Mexico on Sept. 23, 2013.

  • NM State has recorded 20 or more wins in 11 of the last 12 seasons.

  • The Aggies have had 29 first team All-WAC selections, 10 second team selections, three WAC All-Freshman Team selections and two WAC Freshman of the Year honorees.  Mike Jordan has coached 27 all-tournament selections since NM State began playing in the WAC in 2005.

  • Two players earned All-WAC honors last year, as well as four players named to the WAC All-Tournament Team. Two players were also selected to the Preseason All-WAC team, as well.

Seattle U Redhawks

Head CoachJames Finley (Sul Ross State, '83)                   Redhawk Links
2013 Record: 13-20 / 9-7 WAC
Complete Schedule
Starters Returning/Lost: 4/3 Roster

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Head Coach James Finley

  • Under second-year head coach James Finley, Seattle U enters its third season in the WAC after winning five more conference matches in 2013 than in 2012.

  • The WAC Tournament victory over Utah Valley last season was the first Division I postseason win in program history.

  • Iris Ivanis, the 2013 WAC Freshman of the Year, is back after leading the Redhawks last year with 307 kills and 27 service aces.

  • Also returning for Seattle U are second team All-WAC performer Martina Samadan, who averaged 3.24 kills and 1.00 blocks per set, and WAC All-Freshman Team honoree Kerry Lane, who dished out 1,076 assists as the team’s setter in 2013.

  • Alec Goodrie and Stephanie Stoll are the two seniors on the 2014 squad, with Goodrie collecting 137 kills and 64 total blocks last year and Stoll enjoying her best collegiate season with a team-high 93 blocks to go along with 139 kills.

  • Seattle U will face Texas and Washington, half of the 2013 national semifinalists, along with two other participants in the 2013 NCAA Tournament in Oregon and New Mexico State.

Texas-Pan American Broncs

Head Coach: Brian Yale (Bowling Green, ‘96)                     Roadrunner Links
2013 Record: 13-20 / 2-14 WAC
Complete Schedule
Starters Returning/Lost: 6/1 Roster

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Head Coach Brian Yale

  • The Broncs won 13 matches in 2013, their winningest season since 2007 (15).

  • Texas-Pan American opened the 2013 season 10-5, tying for the second-best start in program history and the best as an NCAA Division I program.

  • The Broncs led the WAC and were 49th nationally in aces per set at 1.45.

  • UTPA ranked 82nd in the NCAA and second in the WAC in average attendance with a program record 652 per match.

  • Maria Kliefoth had a .275 hitting percentage in 2013, the third highest in a season in program history. She now has a career hitting percentage of .240, tied for the third best in program history (minimum 500 attacks). She also ranks sixth with 183 career blocks.

  • Haley Durham had 93 blocks in 2013, the seventh most in a season in program history. She now ranks second in program history in career blocks per set (0.76). She also ranks 10th in total blocks (155).

Utah Valley Wolverines

Head Coach: Sam Atoa (Brigham Young, '88)                   Wolverine Links
2013 Record: 18-15 / 11-5 WAC
Complete Schedule
Starters Returning/Lost: 5/2 Roster

VIDEO INTERVIEW: Head Coach Sam Atoa

  • In their first season in the WAC last year, the Wolverines tied for third with an 11-5 conference record, which included a 6-2 league mark at home.

  • UVU returns two first team All-WAC performers as well as one who was named to the WAC All-Freshman Team. First team selections Lauren Bakker and McKenna Tait, as well as All-Freshman selection Nakisha Willden, are all back for UVU in 2014.

  • Utah Valley has won 18 or more matches in each of its last five seasons.

  • The Wolverines have finished above .500 for nine consecutive seasons, including winning a school record 23 matches in 2011 (23-9).

  • The Wolverines will take on seven schools that appeared in the 2013 NCAA Tournament this year, including semifinalist Washington on Sept. 6 in Provo, Utah.

  • UVU will take on all five in-state Division I opponents in 2014. The Wolverines will host two of those five at the PE Building this season in Weber State on Oct. 14 and Utah State on Nov. 10.
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