Tuesday, September 5, 2017

UIS volleyball preview: Stars add some size to record-breaking team

2016 RECORDS: 11-10 overall, 4-14 in Great Lakes Valley Conference

PRESEASON POLL RANKING: No. 4 out of five teams in GLVC Central Division

A LOOK BACK AT 2016: The Stars’ 11 wins tied the program record for victories in the NCAA Division II era. Their four GLVC wins also tied the program record.

STANDING OUT: Sophomore Alli Splitt had a huge freshman season. The 6-foot middle blocker set UIS’ single-season attacking percentage record. She hit .367, tying her for highest in the GLVC and ranking her 22nd in the nation. Six-foot junior middle blocker Alyssa Hasler is also coming off a record-setting season. She had a record 140 blocks in 2016. She is first with 259 career blocks. 

NEWCOMERS TO WATCH: Junior outside hitter Taylor Bauer helped Parkland win back-to-back National Junior College Athletic Association Division II national titles. Six-foot freshman right-side hitter graduate Erin Ripple was named The Decatur Herald and Review Macon County Volleyball Player of the Year last year after collecting 399 kills, 201 digs and 41 points for Mount Zion High School. Freshman middle hitter Brianna Bush plays many positions.

 COACH TREY SALINAS SAYS: “Alyssa Hasler and Alli Split were our main two point scorers last year and having them back is phenomenal. We also have experience in our setter Lexi Hall as well as Tiffany Wentworth. They both have been setters for us the past three years now at least. Taylor Bauer has had an incredible preseason. Right now, she is playing our outside hitter position, which traditionally we’ve struggled with a little bit. So we’re super excited to have her. I think it’s going to help even us out across the net. We were a little bit of middle heavy team last year.”

This article appeared in The State Journal-Register on September 4, 2017.

Read the entire article online.