Red Wolves Volleyball set to host ASU Invitational - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Red Wolves Volleyball set to host ASU Invitational

SERVING IT UP: The Arkansas State volleyball team will host the ASU Invitational Aug. 27-28, which will include Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Louisiana Tech, Northwestern State and the ASU Red Wolves.  Games will be played at the HPESS facility on the ASU campus.  Livestats will be available at AStateRedWolves.com.

Friday, August 27
La Tech vs Northwestern State  10am
UAPB vs. ASU    Noon
UAPB vs. Louisiana Tech 5pm
Northwestern State vs. ASU   7pm

Saturday, Aug. 28th

Northwestern State vs. UAPB 1pm
Louisiana Tech vs. ASU   3pm
 
THE UAPB SERIES: The Red Wolves hold a 19-0 advantage over the Lady Lions of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.  ASU and UAPB last met in the 2009 ASU Invitational, when A-State topped UAPB 3-0.  The 2009 meeting made the ASU record book, landing UAPB with the worst hitting percentage by an opponent (-.232).
 
THE NORTHWESTERN STATE SERIES: ASU stands at 7-1 in the all-time series against Northwestern State.  The two teams last met in the ASU/Bancorp South Classic in 2007.  NSU topped ASU 3-0 in the match.  The Red Wolves' last win was a four-set victory in 2003 at the American State Bank Classic in Jonesboro.
 
THE LOUISIANA TECH SERIES: Arkansas State holds a strong 27-1 advantage over Louisiana Tech in the all-time series between the two schools.  The Red Wolves last met the Lady Techsters in 2004 when ASU swept LA Tech 3-0 at the American State Bank Classic in Jonesboro.  The Lady Techsters' lone win came during the 1993 season at the Sun Belt Conference Tournament in Jonesboro, when they defeated ASU 3-2.
 
‘09 ASU INVITATIONAL: The Red Wolves swept last season's ASU Invitational, topping UAPB, Jackson State and Houston Baptist all by a score of 3-0.  Three A-State players earned all-tournament honors, including Brittany Hoag, Heather Bowman and tournament MVP Cayla Fielder.
 
ASU IN SEASON OPENERS: The Red Wolves stand at 22-12 in season-opening matches.  In 2009, ASU fell to Southeast Missouri State 3-1 to open the season at the Memphis Invitational.  Following that loss, A-State went on a ten-match win streak, extending into all four of its preseason tournaments.  The ASU squad only dropped five sets during the streak.
  
HEAD COACH JUSTIN INGRAM: Justin Ingram enters his second year as head coach of the Red Wolves with a 22-11 overall record and a SBC West-Division Co-Championship under his belt. 
Ingram became the sixth head coach in ASU Volleyball history last season, and his Red Wolves' .667 winning percentage was the highest ASU has seen since the 2004 season.  He led A-State to a 12-6 (.667) conference record and a 10-1 (.909) record in home matches, also the highest percentage since 2004.  Two of Ingram's 2009 Red Wolves garnished post-season conference honors including the SBC Defensive Player of the Year award, and ASU chalked up six SBC Player of the Week accolades last season.
Ingram came to ASU after serving eight years as an assistant coach at Kansas State.    
During his time at Kansas State, he served as the recruiting coordinator and offensive coordinator for the Wildcats who posted a 171-79 record and made seven NCAA tournament appearances during his time with the program.
While at Kansas State, the Wildcats earned American Volleyball Coaches Association top-25 final rankings six different seasons including a No. 11 final ranking in 2003.  The Wildcats also had seven 20-win seasons in his time there, including a 30-win season and a first-place finish in the Big 12 in 2003.  Kansas State's final RPI ranked in the top-30 nationally during seven of Ingram's eight seasons with the Wildcats.
Ingram served the previous two years as an assistant coach at the University of Houston.  He served as a junior college recruiting coordinator, travel coordinator and assistant director of camps.  The Cougars posted a 42-24 record and made back-to-back NCAA tournament appearances and posted consecutive 20-win seasons in 1998 and 1999.  The Cougars were the Conference USA National Division Runners-up in 1998 and C-USA National Division Champions in 1999.
During his career, Ingram has helped lead teams to nine NCAA Tournament appearances including a trip to the Sweet Sixteen in 2003.   He has coached eight All-America selections, 22 All-Big 12 selections, 55 Academic All-Big 12 players, six All-Conference USA selections, four Big 12 Libero of the Year winners, a Big 12 Player of the Year, a Big 12 Newcomer of the Year and a C-USA Player of the Year.
Ingram earned his bachelor's degree in Community and Regional Planning from Iowa State University in 1995 and a master's degree in City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 1998.
"Arkansas State is a tremendous university with an excellent volleyball program and I'm thrilled to be here," said Ingram.  "I think the program is heading in a very positive direction and I'm excited to be part of its future.  Not only does ASU have a strong volleyball program, it's in a strong conference and has great support from the community.  So, this is a great situation and opportunity and I look forward to the challenges ahead."
 
ASSISTANT COACH SHAWN TAYLOR: ASU head volleyball coach Justin Ingram announced March 19 that Shawn Taylor had joined the Red Wolves coaching staff as assistant coach for the 2010 season.
"I feel fortunate to have attracted Shawn to Arkansas State," said Ingram.  "He is a very knowledgeable and hard working coach who understands the demands it takes to be successful."
Taylor comes to Arkansas State from Independence Community College in Independence, Kan. where he served as the head coach for the 2009 season.  Prior to working at ICC, he coached as an assistant at Valparaiso and spent the 2007 season as the head coach at Kansas Wesleyan University.  Taylor was a volunteer assistant coach at Kansas State for three seasons and served as the head women's junior varsity and a men's assistant coach at Graceland University from 2002-2004.  Taylor also apprentice coached with the U.S. national team in 2007.
Taylor earned his master's degree in college student personnel from Kansas State and his bachelor's degree in liberal studies from Graceland.  He played for the Graceland Yellowjackets from 1999-2002.
 
LOOKING AHEAD TO 2010: With just three returning Red Wolves, Arkansas State will have a crowd of new faces on the hardwood in 2010.  Head coach Justin Ingram and the new A-State team are looking to follow a great season with an even greater one.  The Red Wolves received 57 points in the preseason Sun Belt Conference poll with four first place votes and were predicted to finish second in the West Division behind Denver.  Returning junior middle blocker Cayla Fielder was selected to the preseason All-SBC team.
Fielder and sophomores Taylor Coughlin and Kelsie Hodges were part of a 22-11, Sun Belt Conference West Division Co-Championship team last season that posted ASU Volleyball's highest winning percentage since 2004.  ASU welcomes five freshmen and four transfers from all over the country, spanning from Utah to Ohio. 
Fielder returns as the most experienced player on the roster, and her selection to the preseason All-SBC team marks the second of her career.  She was named to the All-SBC first team following the 2009 season, after leading the Red Wolves in kills (373), hitting percentage (.341) and total blocks (128), including a team-high 33 unassisted. Fielder was named the 2008 Freshman of the Year and earned Second Team All-SBC honors that same season.
The team will also welcome new assistant coach Shawn Taylor and graduate assistant coach Jen Malcom.  Taylor comes to Arkansas State from Independence Community College in Independence, Kan. where he served as the head coach for the 2009 season.  Prior to working at ICC, he coached as an assistant at Valparaiso and spent the 2007 season as the head coach at Kansas Wesleyan University.  Malcom graduated from Iowa State in 2008 where she played two years on the Cyclone volleyball team.  She was named a Strength and Conditioning All-American, as well as AVCA All-Central Region and All-Big 12 Honorable Mention following her senior season.
The Red Wolves will open the season Aug. 27-28 when they host Louisiana Tech, Northwestern State and Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the ASU Invitational at the HPESS complex on the ASU campus.  A-State will visit Bloomington, Ind. for the Indiana University Tournament Sept. 3-4, Tulsa, Okla. for the University of Tulsa Invitational Sept. 10-11 and Houston, Texas for the Rice University Invitational Sept. 17-18.
Arkansas State will return to the Convocation Center to open Sun Belt Conference action, hosting Western Kentucky Sept. 24 and Middle Tennessee Sept. 26. 
The Red Wolves will spend the next two weekends on the road, traveling to Troy Oct. 1 and South Alabama Oct. 3 before visiting North Texas Oct. 8 and Denver Oct. 10.
In-state rival UALR will visit the Convocation Center Oct. 15 for a matchup with ASU, while Florida Atlantic and Florida International will make stops in Jonesboro the following weekend (Oct. 22 and 24).
Oct. 29 and 30 will mark a road swing through the state of Louisiana for the Red Wolves as they meet ULM Friday and Louisiana-Lafayette Saturday before returning to Jonesboro for matches against Denver Nov. 5 and North Texas Nov. 6 at the HPESS complex.
ASU will travel to Little Rock to take on the UALR Trojans for a second time in their only midweek action of the season Nov. 9 at the Jack Stephens Center.
The Red Wolves will then wrap up their season Nov. 12 and 13, hosting ULM and Louisiana-Lafayette at the HPESS complex.
This year's SBC Tournament will be hosted by Middle Tennessee in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Nov. 18-20, and the NCAA Tournament first and second rounds are set for Dec. 2-4.
Ingram said, "We are all optimistic about the direction of this team.  The girls have been working hard all summer, and we are certainly seeing the rewards."
The Red Wolves also have some changes to their home facility this season.  ASU's locker room got a makeover during the offseason to include a lounge area with a flat screen television, refrigerator and two computer work stations.  The lockers now have a personalized touch with each player's name, jersey number and picture displayed in them, and the walls are adorned with custom graphics.
"I am extremely grateful for the locker room renovation," said Ingram.  "Facility improvements are important in the recruitment of student-athletes, and specifically it shows the administration's support and positive direction of its programs.  Our volleyball team is fortunate and we are all thankful."
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