Volleyball Set to Host Season-Opening Country Inn & Suites Tournament
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay volleyball team will open the 2014 season with an exciting home weekend at the Kress Events Center, hosting six matches at the Green Bay Country Inn & Suites Tournament on Friday and Saturday. The Phoenix welcomes Arizona, Kansas State and South Dakota to Titletown and will face each of those teams during the season-opening weekend.
Green Bay opens play in its own event at 7 p.m. on Friday against Big XII Conference member Kansas State. The Phoenix will then matchup on Saturday at noon with 2013 NCAA Tournament participant Arizona and before closing the tournament against South Dakota on Saturday at 7 p.m.
BURDETTE ERA BEGINS
Friday’s match against Kansas State will mark the Phoenix debut for Green Bay head coach Sean Burdette. The veteran college coach was hired in March after most recently serving as the top assistant at the University of Mississippi from 2011-13. Burdette previously worked as the head coach at Bradley University from 2008-10.
Green Bay welcomes back a total of six returners from the 2013 season, including All-Horizon League performers Jillian Bauer (Verona, Wis.) and Emily Riese (Fond du Lac, Wis.) and Horizon League Freshman of the Year Shannon Hurley (Connellsville, Pa.).
The mix of players on the Phoenix roster this fall also includes seven newcomers. Friday could present an opportunity for six freshmen to make their collegiate debut, and sophomore transfer Megan Powers (Glendale, Ariz.) is expected to make her Phoenix debut after playing as a freshman at San Jose State.
Including a challenging opening weekend at home, Burdette has put together a challenging non-conference slate of matches for his Phoenix squad. Of 12 non-conference games, Green Bay will face four teams that advanced to the 2013 NCAA Tournament, including Arizona, Marquette, UT-San Antonio and Ohio.
ABOUT KANSAS STATE
Kansas State is coming off an 18-11 season in 2013 and has a roster including seven returners and nine newcomers. The Wildcats feature redshirt sophomore Katie Brand, who was one of just two setters named to the Preseason All-Big 12 Team. In the past two seasons, Kansas State has posted a record of 25-1 in non-conference record season matches.
Under head coach Dave Rubio, Arizona advanced to the second round of the 2013 NCAA Tournament, and the Wildcats from the Pac-12 Conference return the majority of their key contributors. The team’s star is senior outside hitter Madi Kingdon, who was an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American as a junior.
ABOUT SOUTH DAKOTA
In 2013, the Coyotes posted a 19-13 record and went 9-5 in the Summit League. South Dakota was tabbed to finish in fourth in the 2014 Summit League Volleyball Preseason Poll. The team returns six starters from 2013, including the 2013 Summit League Player of the Year Kendall Kritenbrink and all-league honoree Kelsey Biltoft.
Green Bay Country Inn & Suites Tournament
Friday, August 29
South Dakota vs. Arizona, 4:30 p.m.
Green Bay vs. Kansas State, 7 p.m.
Saturday, August 30
Kansas State vs. South Dakota, 10 a.m.
Green Bay vs. Arizona, 12 p.m.
Arizona vs. Kansas State, 4:30 p.m.
Green Bay vs. South Dakota, 7 p.m.
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