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PREVIEW: Rollins Opens Season at Ferris State Invitational

PREVIEW: Rollins Opens Season at Ferris State Invitational

Tars Set to Take on Tough Competition, Including Reigning National Champions, Concordia-St. Paul


SCHEDULE:
Friday, August 24 vs. Clarion | Noon | FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena – Big Rapids, Mich.
Friday, August 24 vs. Lake Superior State | 6:00 p.m. | FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena – Big Rapids, Mich.
Saturday, August 25 vs. Wayne State (Mich.) | 9:30 a.m. | FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena – Big Rapids Mich.
Saturday, August 25 vs. Concordia-St. Paul | 2:00 p.m. | FSU's Ewigleben Sports Arena – Big Rapids Mich.

TICKET PRICES:
$15 Tournament Pass – Includes both days
$10 Adults – One day
$5 Students – K-12
Free- FSU Students with ID and children under the age of five 

WEEKEND COVERAGE:
Live stats will be available for select matches.  For more information, please visit the Ferris State Volleyball Invitational Tournament Website

Live Stats vs. Clarion

Live Stats vs. Wayne State

SET UP:
Opening up their 2018 slate on the road at the Ferris State Invitational, the Rollins volleyball team is set to take on some top competition to kick off the season.  Rollins will face Clarion and Lake Superior State on Friday, August, 24, and will follow up with Wayne State, who received votes on the 2018 AVCA Preseason Coaches Poll, as well as defending National Champion Concordia-St. Paul, who earned the nod at No. 1 on the preseason rankings.  Live coverage of Rollins' matches will not be available throughout the tournament, but fans will be able to read the post-game recaps on RollinsSports.com as soon as match information becomes available.

WHO TO WATCH:

Rollins:
Coming off of a 2017 campaign that saw the Tars compile a record of 9-18 on the season, the Rollins volleyball team enters into its third season under the tutelage of head coach Mika Robinson.  The Tars graduated seven seniors from last season's squad, but welcomed five new faces for their 2018 campaign.  Selected to finish ninth on the Sunshine State Conference Preseason Poll, Rollins will look to their senior leadership of Sam Schlesman, Kerra Tirado, and Rachel Fletcher to help set the precedent this season.  The Tars are set to face some stiff competition in their opening matches on the road, but will be expecting the senior trio, plus lone returning junior Madison Jenkins to make an impact on the court.  Also returning are sophomores Leslie Seda, Alondra Rodriguez, Erin Burke, Sarah Konemann, and Haley Driscoll, who are all expected to step up into more prominent roles this season.  The addition of newcomers Candace Doxey, Adriane Griffith, Marlee Johnson, Rebecca Kuehn, and Jessika Linnemeyer will help provide the team with depth, height, as well as a mixture of young leadership to help the Tars round out a solid squad of diverse talent and skill sets.

Clarion:
Picked to finish second in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference's Southwest Division, earning six first-place votes, the Clarion Eagles will look to maintain momentum from a 2017 season that saw them post an overall record of 20-12.  The Golden Eagles return four starters from a year ago, including Third Team All-PSAC selection Julia Holden. Also back for Clarion this year is senior setter and a 2017 CoSIDA Academic All-District pick Leah Vensel. Rounding out the returning starters from a year ago are middles Lauryn Driscoll and Olivia Olson, while senior outside hitter Marissa Robertson returns after missing the 2017 season with injury.

Lake Superior State:
Under the guidance of second-year head coach Dave Schmidlin, the Lake Superior State volleyball team looks to build upon a 2017 season that saw them finish with an overall record of 3-22, and 1-15 in the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.  The Lakers graduate six seniors from last year's starting rotation, and welcomed a total of eight freshmen this season.  Aiding in the development of this year's freshman class will be the group seniors and juniors who will be expected to play key leadership roles both on and off the court this season. Lauren Lukasik, Morgan Kelley, Paige Gotham and Mikala Williams make up the Lakers' senior class, followed by juniors Amanda Reid and Caitlyn Kane.

Wayne State (Mich.):
Selected to finish second on the GLIAC Preseason Poll, the Wayne State Warriors were also tabbed as the favorites to win the South Division with 57 points and seven first-place votes.  The Wayne State volleyball program under fifth-year head coach Tim Koth will look to improve on a GLIAC Tournament semifinal appearance last season.  WSU secured its first postseason victory since 2012 a season ago with a thrilling quarterfinal triumph at Grand Valley State.  Wayne State tied-for-second in the GLIAC South Division and was the overall fifth seed during the playoffs. The Green & Gold are eyeing a trip to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1994 and for the third time in program history.  WSU returns 11 letterwinners, including five starters plus its libero to the 2018 squad.  Seniors Hailey Richardson (New Boston, Mich. / Huron) and Ellie Rodriguez (Grand Rapids, Mich. / Catholic Central), and junior Madelyn Krenz (Chenoa, Ill. / Prairie Central) are back after All-GLIAC campaigns last season.  The roster also welcomes four newcomers.  The Warriors received votes on the 2018 AVCA Preseason Poll.

Concordia-St. Paul:
Fresh of a 2018 National Championship, the Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bears have only matched up one other time against the Tars, and hold onto a 1-0 series record.  The Golden Bears claimed their ninth overall national championship in 11 years last season, and their second NCAA DII National Championship, finishing with a record of 34-3 and a mark of 19-1 in NSIC play where they earned their 14th regular season NSIC title.  The 2018 Concordia roster includes a good mix of experience levels as the Golden Bears enter the year with four seniors, two juniors, two sophomores, four redshirt freshmen and a true freshman.  With all but two members of the starting lineup returning this season, Concordia-St. Paul is not lacking in experience heading into this season.  Entering into this season, the Golden Bears are ranked No. 1 on the AVCA DII Preseason Poll, receiving 47 of 48 first place votes. No stranger to the top tier, the Golden Bears have spent an incredible 82 weeks at #1 since they debuted there in the 2004 preseason poll. Since the 2007 season, CSP has ranked first at least once every season. In addition, Concordia has spent all but one week inside the top-5 since October 2012. The last time that CSP ranked outside the top-10 was back in 2003.

NOTES:

  • Head Coach Mika Robinson enters into her third season with the Tars, and 11th overall as a head coach. Robinson holds onto a record of 190-125 over the course of 10 seasons.

NEXT:
The Rollins volleyball team takes to the court in their home opener on Friday, August 31, when they host Wilmington (Del.) at 5 p.m. in Warden Arena inside the Alfond Sports Center.  Links to live coverage of live stats as well as video on the Tars Sports Network are available on RollinsSports.com.

Fans can follow Tars volleyball all season long with live audio and video on the Tars Sports Network at RollinsSports.com, where the latest news, updates, and information on the Rollins volleyball team can also be accessed. Fans can also stay up-to-date on the latest #TARnation news by following Rollins Sports on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.