MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team is set to welcome four opponents to the WVU Coliseum for the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Challenge on Sept. 7-8.
The Mountaineers will start the tournament on Friday with matches against Maryland-Eastern Shore at 3 p.m. and Saint Peter’s at 7:30 p.m., and will conclude the tournament on Saturday with matches against Radford and Wright State at noon and 6:30 p.m., respectively.
“This weekend we are really focused on building continuity within our team,” Kramer says. “We have focused on taking care of details more in practice and staying focused point for point every time we touch the ball. That is really where our minds are going to be this weekend is on our side of the net.”
This weekend’s tournament has been specifically named after the prestigious Golden Horseshoe Test that has been administered in West Virginia each year since 1931 and is the longest running program of its kind in any state. All eighth graders in the state spend a year studying the West Virginia curriculum and the top-scoring students in each county receive the prestigious award and are inducted as "knights" and "ladies" of the Golden Horseshoe Society.
“What we wanted to do was give people around the state the opportunity to learn more about volleyball and we picked the group of people who have won a Golden Horseshoe,” Kramer says. “In return, we are hoping that all these teams coming from outside the state will learn a little bit about the heritage of West Virginia and where the Golden Horseshoe comes from. I think the heritage of the state is important and I would like other people to know about it.”
WVU is coming off a 1-2 finish at The Mason Inn Patriot Invitational at George Mason where sophomore middle blocker Evyn McCoy
was named to the all-tournament team. McCoy, also named the VSR Athlete of the Week, posted 21 kills, a .308 hitting percentage, three service aces and 11 total blocks at the invitational. The Clare, Ill., native is currently second on the team in kills (46), service aces (7) and total blocks (20).
The Hawks are led by two-time reigning MEAC Player of the week Saitaua Iosia who helped the team to a 4-1 record at the Tiger Invitational this past weekend. Iosia totaled 59 kills and 43 digs, including two double-doubles over the three-day tournament. Iosia was also named AVCA Division I Player of the Week for the second time in her career on Aug. 26 after finishing the opening weekend of play with 64 kills, a .357 hitting percentage and 47 digs.
Saint Peter’s has started the season with a 1-7 record under first-year coach Andrew Brown, who was hired on Aug. 27. The Peacocks recently fell 3-0 to St. Francis, N.Y., on Wednesday, with libero Jenny Pliska finishing with a match-high 19 digs. Laura Reinhart leads the team with 64 kills and 2.67 kills per set and is second in service aces with 11.
The Highlanders of Radford are coming off a loss to rival Elon on Tuesday night where the team came back from two sets down to take the match to five-sets. Reigning Big South Freshman of the Year and 2012 All-Big South Preseason Team selection Emma Deininger is second on the team with 66 kills and 2.13 kills per set and leads the team with a.306 hitting percentage and 24 total blocks.
With a loss at IPFW on Wednesday, Wright State falls to 0-8 on the season under first-year coach Susan Clements. Heidi Splinter leads the Raiders with 74 kills and 2.85 kills per set while Katie Glassmeyer leads the defense with 116 digs and 4.30 digs per set.
Maryland-Eastern Shore is the second first-time opponent the Mountaineers have met in preseason. WVU holds a 2-0 series record over Saint Peter’s while the series record is tied with Radford at 2-2 and Wright State holds a 5-2 series record over the Mountaineers.
Admission to all matches will be $5 for adults and $3 for youth 18 and younger and senior citizens. Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets for $2 a person. The Varsity Sports Flex Plan is also available for $20 which includes 10 vouchers that are redeemable for single game tickets at any of these WVU sporting events: baseball, gymnastics, men's soccer, women's soccer, volleyball and wrestling.
Flex plan packages can be purchased online at WVUGAME.com, by calling 1-800-WVU GAME or by stopping by the Mountaineer Ticket Office in the WVU Coliseum.
Fans unable to attend tomorrow’s match can follow the Mountaineers via GameTracker and a free WebStream presented by Kroger at WVUsports.com.W.Va. Golden Horseshoe Challenge ScheduleSept. 7
Saint Peter’s vs. Wright State. 1 p.m.
WVU vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore. 3 p.m.
Wright State vs. Radford. 5:30 p.m.
WVU vs. Saint Peter’s. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 8
Maryland-Eastern Shore vs. Saint Peter’s. 10 a.m.
WVU vs. Radford. Noon
Wright State vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore. 2 p.m.
Saint Peter’s vs. Radford. 4 p.m.
WVU vs. Wright State. 6:30 p.m.