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Volleyball Set to Host Thunder Invitational

Aug. 23, 2012

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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Marshall volleyball opens up the 2012 season by hosting the fourth-ever Thunder Invitational. The two-day tournament will be played in the Cam Henderson Center and start on Friday, August 24.

The tournament will include competition against Wright State, IUPUI and Miami (OH). The Thundering Herd's first opponent will be Wright State at 7 p.m. ET on Friday. For more information on the invitational, visit volleyball's Tournament Central.

Tickets will be offered to adults on Friday for $5 and to youth for $3. On Saturday, tickets will be offered to adults for $7 and $5.

Marshall returns to the court after finishing with a 10-21 record in 2011. Having only one senior (Cameron Yoho) graduate from the 2011 team, the Marshall volleyball program looks to bring back a wide range of experience for the upcoming 2012 season.

Sophomore setter Sammie Bane leads the Marshall volleyball squad after earning C-USA All-Freshman honors and finishing the season with 1,174 assists. Alongside Bane will be senior outside hitter Katy Schad and Andrea Snipes-Booker.

Leading blocker from 2011, Sacha Byous-McConnell, will look to be a force at the net again this year while libero Dorothy Rahal hopes to add to her career dig total of 644. After being forced to sit out a majority of the season last year, Laura Der will be ready to go at the outside hitter position. She finished the 2011 season with 186 kills and 4 double-doubles.

Also Adding to the mix early will be freshmen Lauren Legge (Pliny, W.Va/Teays Valley Christian School) and Jillian Shemanaski (Jupiter, Fla./ Jupiter HS).

A Look at The Opponents

IUPUI finished the 2011 season with a 15-16 record and an 8-10 conference record (5th in The Summit League). IUPUI will welcome back a load of experience as four starters and 10 letterwinners return for the 2012 season. Senior Kelsey Hoefer will lead the team after finishing the 2011 season with a team-high 316 kills and a 2.82 kills per set ratio. The Jaguars also return their primary setter, Alexis Meeks, who accounted for 1,173 assists last season. At the net, middle hitter Bethany Fogler will make her presence known after recording 138 total blocks to lead the team in 2011. The Jaguars are led by 15-year head coach Steve Payne.

Miami (OH) posted a 16-16 record in the 2011 season and a 7-9 conference record which placed them second in the Mid-American Conference East Division. The 2011 team made it all the way to the MAC quarterfinals in the postseason. Miami (OH) will bring back four starters plus its libero after only losing two. Included in this mix will be senior outside hitter Lisa Treadway, who marked 181 kills in 2011. The RedHawks did lose their top three swingers from last year (C. Farrell, A. Raseman, J. Caylor), who combined for 771 of the RedHawk kills. Miami (OH) split time between two setters last year, both of whom will be returning to the 2012 squad. Senior Amy Kendall finished with 773 assists last year, while sophomore Meg Riley finished with 464. Libero Madison Hardy returns after recording 529 digs last season and outside hitter Christina Menche will led the RedHawks at the net after 50 blocks during 2011. Miami (OH) is led by 28-year head coach Carolyn Condit.

Wright State finished last season with a 6-23 record and a 5-11 record in the Horizon League. Leading Wright State will be last season's most lethal hitter, Heidi Splinter, who knocked down 290 kills. She finished the year with a 3.02 kills per set average. She also led the team last season with 304 digs. After splitting time with senior setter Ashleigh Lucco, sophomore Aimee Schubert will return as the primary setter for the Raiders. She finished 2011 with 374 assists and a 7.33 assists per set ratio. At the net, junior middle blocker Anna Norman will return to the court after posting a team-high 57 blocks. Wright State is led by first year head coach Susan Clements.