MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – The West Virginia University volleyball team is set to host Cleveland State and Murray State in the Gold and Blue Classic on Sept. 15-16 at the WVU Coliseum.
The Mountaineers will play Cleveland State on Saturday at 5 p.m. and Murray State on Sunday at 2 p.m. in the last non-conference tournament for WVU before it resumes Big 12 Conference play next weekend. WVU will also host a free Kids’ Clinic following its match against Murray State on Sunday for all kids eighth grade and younger.
“One great thing about this weekend is that we are only playing one match a day which is different from what we have been doing in other tournaments,” coach Jill Kramer says “When you do that, you get a higher quality of play typically and a more truly competitive match point-for-point. We’ve really focused in on our match preparation and how to get our focus and energy in the right place.
“Cleveland State and Murray State are both good opponents to have the weekend before conference play. We are looking forward to continuing to get better every single match we play.”
WVU (6-6, 0-1 Big 12) comes into this weekend looking to bounce back from a Tuesday night five-set loss to Robert Morris. Junior outside hitter Arielle Allen
posted a season- and career-high 19 kills and .349 hitting percentage in the loss while freshman libero Anna Panagiotakopoulos
recorded a season- and career-high 24 digs.
Freshman outside hitter Hannah Sackett
continues to lead the Mountaineers with 123 kills, 3.00 kills per set and 16 service aces. Sackett is ranked No. 10 in the Big 12 in kills per set (3.00) and No. 4 in service aces per set (0.39).
WVU also found itself ranked No. 14 nationally in service aces per set with 1.76 after posting 35 team service aces at the West Virginia Golden Horseshoe Challenge. For the first time in program history, WVU also ranked in the top 75 in attendance at No. 66 and is one of eight Big 12 teams ranked in the top 75.
The Vikings (7-4, 0-0 Horizon League) are coming off a 2-1 weekend at the Cleveland State Invitational where the team posted wins over Buffalo (3-1) and Eastern Kentucky (3-0) and lost in five sets to Oakland.
Marie Frease paced the Cleveland State offense with 51 kills, a .480 hitting percentage and six total blocks while Amanda Medvetz led the defense with 65 digs including a career-high 33 against Oakland. For their efforts Frease and Medvetz were named Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, by the Horizon League.
Murray State (2-5, 0-0 OVC) is playing for the first time since competing at the Radford Highlander Invitational two weeks ago. The Racers posted a 2-1 record at the invitational with wins over Citadel (3-0) and Radford (3-0) and a five-set loss to St. Francis.
Lia Havili was named Murray State Pepsi Athlete of the Week on Sept. 6, after recording 72 assists and 25 digs at the invitational. Havili leads the team with 192 assists and five service aces.
Murray State holds a 2-0 series record over the Mountaineers with the last meeting coming in 2003. This will be the first meeting since 1996 for WVU and Cleveland State, with the Mountaineers having a 19-6 advantage in the series.
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 this weekend’s matches can follow the Mountaineers via GameTracker and a free WebStream presented by Kroger at WVUsports.com.Gold and Blue Classic ScheduleSept. 15
Cleveland State vs. Murray State-1 p.m.
WVU vs. Cleveland State-5 p.m.Sept. 16
WVU vs. Murray State-2 p.m.