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Volleyball To Open 2013 Season With PItt State Classic - KOAM TV 7

Volleyball To Open 2013 Season With PItt State Classic

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Press Release Pittsburg State University:

The Pittsburg StateVolleyball team will open the 2013 season with the seven-team Pittsburg StateClassic on Friday, September 6 and Saturday, Sepetmber 7 in John Lance Arena.

The Pittsburg State Classic will feature the Gorillas, Missouri Southern,Missouri Western, Ouachita Baptist, Quincy, Rockhurst and Southeastern Oklahomain 14 matches on two courts over the two days. 

PItt State will open the tournament on Friday at 11:30 a.m. against SoutheasternOklahoma. The Savage Storm return six players with starting appearancefrom last year's team that finished 5-28. GAC Freshman of the year, MeganKunkel returns for her sophomore season after tallying 323 (2.78 k/set) killsand led the team with 39 service aces. Junior outside hitter, Emily Gentlereceived second team accolades after leading the Storm with 354 kills (3.05k/set). Madelynn Cera, junior setter, who earned honorable mention honors, ledthe team with 597 assists (5.15 a/set) a season ago. 

The Gorillas will finish out the day on Friday with a 6:30 p.m. match againstOuachita Baptist. The Lady Tigers wrapped up their 2012 campaign with arecord of 10-16. Seniors Faith Avalos and Kelsi Bodine are the lone seniors forOBU. Avalos, an outside hitter, recorded 157 kills with a .120 attackpercentage during her junior season. Bodine, paced the team tallied 141 killswith a .176 attack percentage on the year. Sophomore outside hitter, AbbyPickett returns from being named to the GAC honorable mention team afterranking in the top three in the conference in attacks, kills and blocks.

On Saturday, the  Gorillas face Rockhurst at 11 a.m. The Hawks return13 players from its 2012 GLVC Championship team that finished the year 28-7.Co-Freshman of the Year and first team all conference selection, KelseyStratman, returns after leading the conference and ranking 16th in the countrywith 1.29 blocks per set.  She tallied 292 kills, 143 blocks, 37 digs and11 aces in 112 sets. Fellow sophomore, Whitney Kostal was named to the All-GLVCWest Division team after her freshman campaign. Kostal led the team with 1,339assists and notched 24 service aces in 128 sets. 

The tournament ends with a 5 p.m. match on Saturday between the Gorillas andMIAA foe Missouri Western. The Griffons finished the 2012 season with a16-16 record. MWSU returns eight players who started at least 10 matches lastseason and 11 players who played in 20 or sets. The Griffons return honorablemention All-MIAA selections setter Stephanie Hattey and right sidehitter Jessie Thorup. Hattey, a senior setter/outside hitter wassecond on the team with 243 kills while hitting .173. She also led the Griffonswith 656 assists and 20 service aces on the year. As a freshman Throup led theteam with 274 kills (2.38 kills/set). She hit .230 with 718 attackattempts. 

The Gorillas were 17-13 in 2012 and return nine players from that squad. TheGorillas are a fairly young team with only four seniors and its primaryreturning point scorers being sophmores or juniors. Seniors Jordan Rehm andChrista McCaw have been valuable players in the back court for the Gorillas andwill look to continue and expand their roles this season. Both Kirsten Eriksenand Abbie Smith have battled injuries in their careers, but are looking forwardto their senior season to make a big impact for the Gorillas. Sophomore CrystalWhitten is the leading returning point scorer from a year ago. She averaged ateam-leading 2.66 kills per set, while also contributing 2.12 digs per set. Junior Paula Okrutna was also a plater for the Gorillas at the net with2.07 kills per set and 58 total blocks on the season. Haylee Gregory battled ashoulder injury to contribue just under two points per game. She will be lookedto to be a big force in the middle this season. Sophomore Hayley Hansford isthe top returning setter with 4.53 assists per set last season.

The entire schedule for the tournament can be found at the PittState Classic home page. Admission is $8 for adults and $3 for children andseniors on Friday only. There will be no admission charged on Saturday, thoughvolleyball fans will have to pay to park across the street from John LanceArena due to football game day parking restrictions. There will be no parkingon the north or east sides of the arena, but additional free parking isavailable at the Kansas Technology Center at the corner of Ford andRouse. 

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