SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich.—The Lake Superior State volleyball team will open the 2019 season with an exhibition game against Division III opponent Alma College on Tuesday, Sept. 3 at Bud Cooper Gymnasium. The match is set to begin at 6:30pm.
2019 Season Preview:
The Lakers look to continue improving as Dave Schmidlin begins his third year as head coach. LSSU posted a 5-22 (2-14 GLIAC) record in 2018 and went to a decisive fifth set in 13 times. Lake State was ranked sixth in the 2019 GLIAC Preseason Coaches Poll.
The Lakers have a young roster with only four upperclassmen. Below is a breakdown of the Laker Volleyball team by class:
Sophomores: Abby Beachnau (Libero/Defensive Specialist), Rylee Eisenga (Outside Hitter), Halle Grulke (Setter), Camdyn Odykirk (Middle Hitter), Kelly Walter (Middle Hitter), Bethany Wilson (Middle Hitter)
Freshmen: Rachel Beelen (Outside Hitter), Kaitlyn Bishop (Outside Hitter), Sydney Briney (Libero/Defensive Specialist), Taylor Fleming (Outside Hitter), Malia Howe (Outside Hitter), Emily Kalinowski (Setter), Joan Ogemaw (Middle Hitter), Avery Strohmeyer (Middle Hitter), *Nina White (Middle White), *Katja Wilhelms (Libero/Defensive Specialist), Kayla Wilhelms (Defensive Specialist)
*Denotes Redshirt Freshman.
Leading the Lakers:
Senior outside hitter Amanda Reid started all 27 matches for the Lakers in 2018. Reid set career season highs in kills (310), kills per set (2.87), digs (357), digs per set (3.31) and points (354).
Senior middle blocker Caitlyn Kane competed in 24 matches in 2018 while starting 11 times. Kane set career match highs in kills (14), attempts (38), assists (1) and block assists (4) during the 2018 season.
Sophomore setter Halle Grulke appeared in all but one match during her freshman season and ranked second on the team last year with 345 assists.
Sophomore defensive specialist Abby Beachnau appeared in all 27 matches for the Lakers in her freshman year and tallied 191 digs.
Sophomore Kelly Walter is the third returning Laker who appeared in all 27 matches last season, along with Reid and Beachnau. The middle blocker led the team in hitting percentage in 2018 with a .151 percentage and ranked second in kills (189).
Sophomore middle hitter Camdyn Odykirk started in 20 of the 26 matches she appeared in as a freshman. Her 139 total kills ranked third on the team and her .127 hitting percentage was good for second on the team.
Scouting the Scots:
The Alma College Scots opened the 2019 season with a four-game undefeated performance at the Elmhurst College Tournament in Elmhurst, Ill. on August 30-31.
Heading into tomorrow's match, Alma holds a .199 hitting percentage.
Sophomore outside hitter Sara Majerle leads the Scots in kills (72) and kills per set (4.80), while ranking second on the team in digs (65).
After tomorrow's exhibition against Alma College, the Lakers travel to Houghton, Mich. to play in the Michigan Tech Tournament this Friday, Sept. 6 and Saturday, Sept. 7.
On Friday, the Lakers will play Southwest Minnesota State at 11:00AM followed by Upper Iowa at 3:00PM. On Saturday, LSSU will open against Mary at 9:00AM and close the tournament against Minnesota-Crookston at 1:00PM.
For more information on the 2019 schedule, please click here.
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