SERVING IT UP: The Arkansas State volleyball team will travel to Florida this weekend to play Florida Atlantic and Florida International in the opening weekend of Sun Belt Conference play.
NEW HEIGHTS: Senior Kelsie Hodges set a career-high with 16 digs against McNeese State. She also had a career-high .560 hitting percentage in the match. That hitting percentage is also the highest of any A-State player this season.
MOVING UP: Junior libero Megan Baska moved into sixth place on the all-time ASU career digs list with 1,294 for her career. She is one dig shy of moving into a tie for fifth place with Kolette Niemeyer who finished her career with 1,295 career digs.
MAKING AN IMPACT: Junior Kelsey Sullivan had a career-high 19 kills against Northern Iowa, which is also the most of any ASU player this season. She also added a career-high four blocks against Long Beach State and Bradley.
CAREER WEEKEND: Sophomore outside hitter Marie Hadar enjoyed one the best weekends of her career at the CEFCU Classic. Hadar had career-highs in kills, attacks and blocks. She had eight kills against Long Beach State, 16 attacks against Long Beach State and Northern Iowa and seven blocks against Bradley, which is the most of any ASU player this season.
ASSIST ME: Senior setter Allison Kearney moved into seventh place on the all-time ASU assists list. Kearney now has 2,491 assists for her career. Laura Bennett is sixth on the list with 2,736.
SENIOR LEADING THE WAY: Kelsie Hodges' .476 attacking percentage against Bradley was the second-highest of any ASU player this season.
TEAM HIGH: ASU had a team-high 83 digs against Northern Iowa and team-high 11 blocks against Bradley.
ATTACKING THE COMPETITION: As a team, the Red Wolves recorded their three highest team attacking percentages on the year at McNeese State Big Daddy Invitational. The team's .333 percentage against Bethune-Cookman has been the highest so far this season, while the .330 percentage against McNeese ranks second. The .311 percentage against Hampton ranks as the third highest.
WHERE THEY RANK: Senior setter Allison Kearney ranks 45th in the nation with 10.98 assists per set. Kelsie Hodges is 63rd in the nation with a .366 attacking percentage on the year.
Hodges .366 attacking percentage ranks among the best among conference players, while Kearney's 10.98 assists per game is second in the conference.
TEAM RANKINGS: As a team, ASU ranks 49th in the nations in assists per set with 12.98 and also ranks 51st in the nation with 13.81 kills per set.
Among Sun Belt Conference teams, ASU ranks first with its 13.81 kills per set and second with 12.98 assists per set.
FIRST VICTORY: Head Coach David Rehr collected his first victory as a Division I head coach with the win over Rice Aug. 25.
KILL IT: Jasmine Terry tied her career high for digs with 18 against Rice. She previously had 18 digs against Troy in 2010 as a sophomore.
DIG IT: Taylor Szypulski set a new career-high with 16 digs against Rice.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Kelsie Hodges and Megan Baska were each named to the Rice Invitational All-Tournament team.
Allison Kearney and Kelsie Hodges were selected to the All-Tournament at the McNeese State Big Daddy Invitational.
Junior Kelsey Sullivan earned All-Tournament honoro as the CEFCU Classic.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Allison Kearney picked up three more double-doubles over the weekend to give her seven on the year. She had 39 assits and 12 digs against Long Beach State, 45 assists and 20 digs against Northern Iowa and 46 assists and 12 digs against Bradley.
NEW FACES: ASU welcomed three new faces to the 2012 squad. Freshmen Hannah McRee and Haley Townsend join the squad after enjoying solid prep careers. Kelsey Sullivan joined the team after transferring from Pittsburg State and will have two years of eligibilty remaining.
THE REHR FILE: David Rehr was named the seventh head coach in ASU volleyball history after serving as the head volleyball coach at Blinn College the previous nine years. During his time at Blinn he led the Buccaneers to two NJCAA National Championships (2008 and 2011), was a two-time NJCAA National Tournament Coach of the Year, a three-time AVCA Southwest Region Coach of the Year and a nine-time NJCAA District Coach of the Year.
LOOKING AHEAD: As another volleyball season approaches, the excitement surrounding the Arkansas State Red Wolves volleyball program continues to build. There have been of changes over the last year that have raised the level of excitement around the program.
The Red Wolves enjoyed a successful 2011 campaign that saw them finish the season with a 20-11 record and 12-4 record in conference play which earned the squad a third straight Sun Belt Conference Western Division Crown and their first Western Division crown outright since 1998.
Building on the momentum from three straight winnings seasons, Director of Athletis Dr. Dean Lee announced Jan. 11 that David Rehr had been selected as the seventh head coach in school in school history, giving the coach his first Division-I head coaching job after enjoying a successful stint at the junior college level. Rehr came to Arkansas State after serving as the head coach at Blinn College the previous nine years. During his time at Blinn he led the Buccaneers to two NJCAA National Championships (2008 and 2011), was a two-time NJCAA National Tournament Coach of the Year, a three-time AVCA Southwest Region Coach of the Year and a nine-time NJCAA District Coach of the Year.
Rehr worked quickly to establish his first coaching staff, and hired Jessicca Weynand to serve as assistant coach. Weynand previously worked with Rehr at Blinn College where she helped lead the team to the 2011 NJCAA National Championship with a perfect 38-0 record that ended with four-set victory over Western Wyoming in the championship match. Rehr also added assistant coach Jeremy Thornburg in August to serve as the team's travel coordinator, video coordinator and assistant in the day-to-day operations of the volleyball program.
Upon being named head coach, Rehr immediatly began working on his first recruiting class that included a junior college transfer from Pittsburg State and an incoming freshman. The pair will have large task to fill the void left by Cayla Fielder, who was one of the most successful players in A-State volleyball history.
With a strong recruiting class a talented group of returning players the excitement for the 2012 season is high. The Red Wolves return 12 lettermen, including five starters and its libero. Among the returning players are All-SBC second team selections Allison Kearney and Ashley Tipps. Kearney, a senior, is among the best setters in the SBC and ranks eighth on the all-time ASU career assists lists. Tipps enjoyed a career season finishing with career bests in kills, hitting percentage, matches played and a career low in hitting errors.
Senior Jasmine Terry will anchor the front line attack for A-State. In 2011 she was second on the team with 314 kills and a .255 hitting percentage. Junior Shelby Crncic also returns and was among the team's best servers, while seniors Kelsie Hodges, Taylor Coughlin and Amanda Chaparro will provide leadership and will see increased time in 2012.
Libero Megan Baska will anchor the defense after another strong year. She is 11th on ASU's all-time career digs list and had a career-high 40 digs against Alabama-Birmingham which was the third most in the rally scoring era in Sun Belt Conference history.
LAST TIME OUT: PEORIA, Ill. (9/15/12) – The Arkansas State volleyball team defeated Northern Iowa 25-22, 14-25, 25-19, 25-21 and Bradley 25-19, 25-14, 20-25, 25-15 on the final day of competition at the CEFCU Classic hosted by Bradley University.
Against Northern Iowa junior Kelsey Sullivan led the team with a career-high 19 kills, while senior Jasmine Terry added 15 kills and Kelsie Hodges finished with 11.
The Red Wolves (9-6) jumped out to a 17-12 advantage in the first set behind a strong performance from Terry, who had six kills in the set. ASU also had three blocks on the set and collected 20 digs on their way to a 25-22 victory.
Northern Iowa tied the match at 1-1 with a 25-14 victory in the set, but A-State bounced back with a 25-19 victory in the third set. Terry again paced the A-State attack with six kills, while Sullivan added five kills. The Red Wolves had a .400 attacking percentage and a sideout percentage of 75 percent.
In the fourth set, Sullivan led the way with seven kills, while Hodges added five as the Red Wolves earned the 25-21 set victory and a 3-1 match victory.
Megan Baska led ASU with 25 digs, while Allison Kearney had a season-high 20 digs. Kearney also added 45 assists in the match, while Taylor Coughlin tied her season-high with 13 digs.
"Last night didn't go exactly how we wanted against a very good Long Beach State team but we came back responded very well today," ASU head volleyball coach David Rehr said. "Northern Iowa is a team that getting votes in the top-25 poll and Bradley is a very talented team and it is good to get two great matches and two good wins before heading into conference play."
Against Bradley, Sullivan led the team with 16 kills, while Terry and Hodges each added 14 kills each. Sullivan also had a career-high .448 attacking percentage to lead the team.
A-State jumped out to 21-15 led in the first set behind Terry's six kills. Sullivan had six kills in the second set to help ASU jump out to a 2-0 match lead. Bradley bounced back in the third set with a 25-20, victory, but the Red Wolves rebounded to take the fourth set 25-15 and trailed just once in the finals set.
Kearney led the team with 46 assists, while Baska had 15 digs. Kearney also added 12 digs and Coughlin finished with 10.
Sullivan was selected to the all-tournament team after collecting 43 kills in three matches and a .275 attacking percentage.