2018 volleyball team huddle_Houck Filled House_BANNER
Nick South

Women's Volleyball

Southeast Hosts Austin Peay Friday and Murray State Saturday to Open OVC Play

Southeast Missouri (8-5, 0-0)
vs. Austin Peay (10-2, 0-0)

Match Information
Date: Friday, Sept. 21, 2018
First Serve: 6:30 p.m., CT
Location: Cape Girardeau, Mo.  
Venue: Houck Field House
Series: Southeast leads all-time series 35-30
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Video: OVC Digital Network
vs. Murray State (6-6, 0-0)
Match Information
Date: Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018
First Serve: 2 p.m., CT
Location: Cape Girardeau, Mo.  
Venue: Houck Field House
Series: Southeast leads all-time series 51-31
Video: OVC Digital Network
Live Stats: StatBroadcast
Complete Match Notes: Southeast Missouri (PDF)
Redhawks Open OVC Schedule with Austin Peay and Murray State
Southeast Missouri women's volleyball (8-5, 0-0) opens its 2018 Ohio Valley Conference schedule this weekend at Houck Field House. Southeast faces 2017 OVC Champion, Austin Peay (10-2, 0-0), Friday at 6:30 p.m., CT and then takes on Murray State (6-6, 0-0) Saturday at 2 p.m. 
Follow the Redhawks
• Stats will be available for Southeast's matches on Friday and Saturday on GoSoutheast.com.
@SEMOvb, the official Twitter page of Redhawks volleyball, will feature live in-game updates all season long.
The first 200 students to enter Houck Field House on Friday night will receive a Redhawks PopSocket. 
Series History
Southeast leads the all-time series with Austin Peay, 35-30, but fell in all three matchups during the 2017 season. The Redhawks most recently met the Governors in the opening round of the 2017 OVC Championship at the Winfield Dunn Center in Clarksville, Tennessee, on Nov. 16 (0-3). SEMO last beat APSU on Sept. 26, 2015 (3-1) at Houck Field House. Krissa Gearring (12), Nzingha Clarke (11), Marie Less (10) and Madalyn Werths (10) each had double-digit kills. Gearring and Less each had double-doubles, chipping in 15 digs and 12 respectively. Keegan Fornoff recorded 31 assists. 
SEMO also tops the all-time series against Murray State, 51-31, but dropped both matches with the Racers in 2017. MSU took the most recent matchup, 3-2, in Murray, Kentucky on Nov. 3, 2017. Southeast last beat Murray State on Oct. 12, 2013 at MSU (W, 3-0) behind a season high 17 team blocks. Katarina Rotta posted 24 assists with eight digs in the victory.
Scouting the Opponents
Austin Peay heads to Cape Girardeau with a 10-2 non-conference record after winning the Kangaroo Classic at UMKC (8/24-25) and the Middle Tennessee Blue Raider Bash (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) to start the campaign. The Governors went 2-1 this past weekend at the Rice Adidas Invitational in Houston, Texas, with wins over Ole Miss of the SEC (W, 3-1) and McNeese (W, 3-1) before a loss to tournament host, Rice (L, 1-3). Kristen Stucker (131 total assists) and Jenna Panning (37 total kills) were named to the all-tournament team at Rice. Brooke Moore and Stucker both earned OVC weekly honors this week. Moore was named OVC Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Governors with 58 kills. Stucker nabbed OVC Setter of the Week as she led the Govs to a .246 team attack percentage while posting 155 assists this past week.
Austin Peay, the 2017 OVC Champion, was picked to finish second in the conference this season. 
Murray State enters the matchup against Southeast with a .500 (6-6 non-conference) record. The Racers opened the season with back-to-back 2-1 weekends at the 2018 New Orleans Invitational and 2018 Saluki Invitational. This past weekend, MSU dropped matches to UNLV (L, 1-3) and UMKC (L, 0-3) but beat tournament host, Saint Louis, at the 2018 Billiken Invitational. Dacia Brown was named to the all-tournament team after racking up 40 kills while hitting .245 in three matches. Rachel Giustino leads the Racers with 168 kills in 2018. Callie Anderton paces MSU with 314 assists and Becca Fernandez leads the defense with 150 digs.
Murray State head coach David Schwepker is a Southeast (1987) alumnus and is in his 21st season with the Racers. Schwepker spent time as an assistant at SEMO from 1992-94 and helped the Redhawks to two OVC regular season titles (1993 and '94) and an OVC Tournament title in 1994.
Murray State was chosen to finish the 2018 season first in the OVC. 
Ochs Named OVC Newcomer of the Week
Freshman captain setter Claire Ochs was tabbed the OVC Newcomer of the Week, the league announced Monday afternoon. Ochs led SEMO this past week with 105 assists as the Redhawks recorded a team-hitting clip of .210. She started the week with a career high of 57 assists and 15 digs at Western Illinois on Tuesday and then added a 48-assist and 17-dig performance against Northern Illinois Wednesday. She now has registered six double-doubles in 2018. Ochs also matched a personal best of three service aces in each match this past week and added five kills along with four blocks and 32 digs. 
The Chesterfield, Missouri, native has recorded 490 assists in 2018 and is 10 away from 500 in her career. Ochs is the second straight Redhawk to win the weekly laurel after Laney Malloy secured the honor on Sept. 10.
Approaching 100 Wins
With eight wins in 2018, Redhawks Head Coach Julie Yankus has now totaled 99 career wins in eight seasons at Southeast. Yankus picked up her 50th career victory on Nov. 9, 2013 against Austin Peay, 3-0.
Da Ally D Show 
Sophomore libero Ally Dion has registered double-digit digs in each of the past seven matches for 165 in 2018. With 15 kills at Western Illinois last Tuesday and 17 at Northern Illinois, Dion has surpassed 500 digs in her Redhawks career (505). 
Dion, an Algonquin, Illinois native, is currently sixth in the OVC with 165 digs this season. She also ranks second in the league for aces with 18 (0.37 APS, third).
Land of Lincoln Recap
Southeast ended its non-conference schedule with two five set victories over Western Illinois and Northern Illinois last week. SEMO rallied from a 2-1 deficit at WIU and held off NIU in the fifth set after the Huskies won the third and fourth sets. 
Laney Malloy led the Redhawks in both matches, tallying 22 kills and 16 in her home state. Annie Wehrheim matched a career-best 13 kill performance at WIU. Madara Bajare chipped in 11 and 13 kills offensively. Haley Bilbruck added 12 kills Wednesday against NIU in DeKalb, Illinois. 
Non-Conference Recap
The Redhawks concluded their non-conference slate with an 8-5 mark (2-2 home, 4-1 away, 2-2 neutral) which matches the 2013 season when the team finished 17-16 (8-9 nonconference). SEMO started the season 5-0 for the team's best start to a season in its NCAA Division I era (1991). Prior to this year, Southeast had never opened a season during its DI era with five consecutive sweeps (15 sets). Southeast captured the 2018 Troy Invitational Championship to start the season with three, three-set sweeps over Southern, Southeastern Louisiana and Troy.
The Redhawks picked up a Tuesday night win at Evansville and beat Louisiana Monroe in their opening Redhawks Invitational match before losses to Radford and Northwestern State. Southeast then defeated regional rival Southern Illinois before dropping matches to Arkansas State, Providence and Missouri-Kansas City at the Kangaroo Classic.
SEMO ended non-conference play with wins at WIU and NIU last week. 
Looking Ahead
After this weekend, Southeast will head to Eastern Illinois and SIUE for a pair of OVC matches Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29. The Redhawks will face EIU in Charleston on Friday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. before a contest with SIUE Saturday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m.
2017 OVC Recap
Southeast posted a 6-10 record in the OVC in 2018 to secure its first tournament berth since 2015 and 24th appearance in program history. As the eighth seed, the Redhawks met #1 seed Austin Peay in the first round in Clarksville, Tennessee. The Governors took the match, 3-0, before claiming the conference title in 2017. 
O Captains! My Captains!
Southeast Head Coach Julie Yankus announced on Aug. 20, Haley Bilbruck, Madeline Grimm and Claire Ochs were selected as team captains for the 2018 season. The trio were chosen to the leadership positions by their teammates.
Roster Breakdown
The Redhawks squad includes 16 student-athletes and features eight upperclassmen (four seniors and four juniors). Southeast returns 10 players from the 2017 Ohio Valley Conference Tournament Team and only lost five letter winners. The 2018 squad features six newcomers including five freshmen and one transfer (sophomore).  
Despite losing All-OVC picks in Nzingha Clarke and Krissa Gearring, offensively the Redhawks return Mikayla Kuhlmann (205 kills, 2.38 kills/set), Haley Bilbruck (166 kills, 1.42 kills/set), Madara Bajare (130 kills) and Krista Berns (116 kills) who ranked third, fourth, fifth and sixth for winners in 2017. 
Keegan Fornoff returns at setter for her senior season and dished out 530 assists in 2017. Fornoff currently ranks fourth overall in SEMO program history (25-point rally scoring, 2008-present) with 1059 career assists. Freshman Claire Ochs joins Fornoff at the setter position.
Defensively, Ally Dion returns at the libero/defensive specialist position after she led the team in 2017 with 340 digs (3.33) as a freshman. Emily Boggetto is another returner at defensive specialist and was fourth on SEMO with 148 digs (2.96 digs/set) in 2017.
Oh, Hi Carly!
Carly Thomas joins the Redhawks in 2018 as an assistant coach after spending a year at Missouri State. Thomas coaches the setters and is responsible for travel, film exchange, home match management and academic development among other duties. Thomas was a standout player at Missouri State from 2010-13, starting in 107 of her 124 career matches at setter. She earned First-Team All-Missouri Valley Conference honors each of her final three seasons. An AVCA honorable mention All-American in 2013, Thomas ranked second in MSU history with 4,708 career assists and 12th with 1,201 digs, while adding 498 kills on a .257 hitting percentage. She added 177 blocks and four triple-doubles during her career as well.
Thomas most recently coached at her alma mater, assisting the MSU Beach Volleyball program during its inaugural season. Prior to that, she spent three years as an assistant coach at Ozark High School, earning Large Class Assistant Coach of the Year honors from the Missouri High School Volleyball Coaches Association in 2016. Thomas also spent the last four years coaching club volleyball for Springfield Juniors, leading her team to a berth in the USA Junior National Championships. 
OVC Preseason Poll
SEMO was chosen to finish ninth in the 2018 Ohio Valley Conference Volleyball Predicted Order of Finish, the league announced Aug. 14. The Redhawks received 95 points in the poll voted on by OVC coaches and sports information directors. Murray State was picked to finish first with 230 points and 10 first-place votes. 2017 OVC Champion Austin Peay earned 14 first-place votes and totaled 227 points for second. Rounding out the poll are SIUE (193), Eastern Kentucky (175), Belmont (152), Morehead State (129), Jacksonville State (125), Eastern Illinois (112), Southeast Missouri (95), Tennessee State (58), UT Martin (56), Tennessee Tech (32).
Redhawks Crushing it in the Classroom 
Southeast racked up multiple academic awards in the offseason. The Redhawks earned a NCAA Public Recognition Award based on their most recent multiyear Academic Progress Rates for the third-straight season. SEMO was also awarded their 11th American Volleyball Coaches Association AVCA Team Academic Award for the 2017-2018 season after registering a 3.30 cumulative GPA.
Maggie Adams, Madara Bajare, Krista Berns, Haley Bilbruck, Keegan Fornoff, Marie Less and Jessica McElderry were each listed on the OVC's Commissioner's Honor Roll for the 2017-18 academic year after they achieved at least a 3.25 grade point average. Less also earned her second straight OVC Medal of Honor after she posted a perfect 4.0 grade point average during the 2017-18 academic year.
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