Mid-American Conference Volleyball Championship Update

Updated 11/25/1998


Tuesday, November 24 at Campus Sites
#1 Miami def #8 Central Michigan 11-15, 15-5, 15-6, 15-7
#2 Ball State def #7 Marshall 15-1, 15-13, 15-10
#3 Northern Illinois def #6 Western Michigan 15-10, 16-14, 15-10
#4 Akron def #5 Ohio 15-13, 15-2, 13-15, 15-7


Friday, November 27
Ball State vs. Northern Illinois, 6 p.m.
Miami vs. Akron, 8 p.m.


Saturday, November 28
Semifinal Winners, 7:30 p.m.
*at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio

Offensive Player of the Week
Emily Sallee, So., Ball State

Emily Sallee averaged 17.00 assists per game while leading Ball State to a 2-0 record and a share of the MAC championship. The Cardinals were the only team to post a pair of wins over teams who will be competing in the MAC tournament. Sallee managed 46 assists, tied her season high with four kills and posted a .333 hitting percentage against Ohio. She then dished out 56 assists and set the Cardinals to a .321 hitting percentage in the championship-clinching win over Marshall.

Defensive Player of the Week
Julie McDivitt, So., Akron

Julie McDivitt recorded a school record 43 digs in the Zips 3-2 win over Miami on November 18. She also recorded 18 kills, one block solo and three block assists. McDivitt followed with an eight kill, 12-dig performance in a 3-0 win over Toledo. For the season, McDivitt is averaging 4.9 digs per game, placing her among the national leaders.

MAC Notes

MAC TOURNAMENT QUICK FACTS: The Mid-American Volleyball Tournament will begin on Tuesday, November 24. The top four teams will play host to the quarterfinals, with the four remaining teams meeting on Friday and Saturday (November 27-28) for the MAC Championship at the highest remaining seed.

Northern Illinois is the defending MAC Tournament Champion. NIU defeated Miami, 3-1 to capture the 1997 MAC Tournament Championship. Ball State, Miami and Western Michigan have captured the most MAC Tournament Championships with four. Ball State won titles in 1995, 1994, 1993 and 1992, while Western Michigan picked up titles in 1989, 1988, 1987 and 1982. Miami won the title in 1996, 1990, 1981 and 1980. The MAC Tournament was not held from 1983-86.

1998-99 GTE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT IV TEAM: The Mid-American Conference placed four players on the GTE Academic All-District IV First Team--University Division and three players on the GTE Academic Second Team--University Division. The district team is comprised of student-athletes from Division I schools in Alabama, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. To be nominated, student-athletes must be a starter or top reserve and carry a cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher. First team selections will now appear on the national ballot for the GTE Academic All-America Volleyball Team.

First Team Honorees
Maggie Clark, Miami Sr. 3.75 Zoology
Wendy Feldman, Central Michigan Sr. 3.96 Accounting
Carrie Patterson, Kent Jr. 4.00 Speech Pathology & Audiology
Stephanie Rotunno, Western Michigan Sr. 3.66 Organizational Communication

Second Team Honorees
Robin Ill, Central Michigan Sr. 3.87 Biology
Sara Schaub, Eastern Michigan So. 4.00 Business
Julie Sterk, Miami Sr. 3.44 Math/Education

MCDIGGIT: Akron sophomore outside hitter Julie McDivitt recorded a school record 43 digs in Akron's 3-2 win over Miami on November 18. McDivitt eclipsed the old mark of 39, held by Jennifer Burton vs. Central Michigan, 9/27/94. It is the McDivitt's third appearance in the top-10 digs list. Last year, McDivitt had 37 against Ball State and 33 against Eastern Michigan.

DIAPER DANDIES: True freshmen Ashlie Case and Miranda Valentine each played well for the Zips this weekend. Case recorded a double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs in a 3-0 sweep against Toledo. This marked Case's seventh double-double in her last 10 matches. Miranda Valentine set career highs with 18 kills, 60 attacks and three assists in a thrilling 3-2 win over Miami. She followed that match with a 10 kill and 16 dig performance against Toledo.

AKRON'S BIG WIN: Akron's 3-2 win over Miami on November 18 was just the third time ever that the Zips have posted a win against Miami. Miami leads the all-time series, 17-3. Prior to the Nov. 18 win, Akron's last victory over Miami was on November 11, 1995, a five-game home win. The game five score was 16-14.

CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT ACTION: The Akron Zips will entertain Ohio in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. This marks the Zips second tournament appearance in Akron's seventh season of MAC play.

SALLEE SETS SET RECORD: Ball State sophomore Emily Sallee has established the BSU record for assists in a season. Sallee totaled 102 assists in BSU's two matches last week to increase her career total to 1,440, breaking the previous school record of 1,432 set by Wendy Carter in 1995.

AND HAS HER EYES SET ON A FEW OTHERS: Despite being just a sophomore, Emily Sallee is on track to break the Mid-American Conference record for assists-per-game average for a season. Sallee averaged 17.00 assists per game in BSU's two wins last week to improve her season average to 13.58. The MAC record is 13.32. Ball State's record, which was set by Sallee last season, is 12.84. In BSU's 18 MAC matches, she is averaging 13.97 assists per game this season.

SALLEE'S OFFENSE IS ALSO RECORD SETTING: Emily Sallee has quarterbacked Ball State to its seventh straight 20-win season and its four MAC Championships in the 90s by setting every point of every match this season. With Sallee running the show, the Cardinals hit .297 last week to increase their season average to .263. That easily surpasses the previous school record of .252, which was set in 1981. Ball State is hitting .297 in MAC tilts this season. Sallee also has the team on track to break the school record for kills-per-game average (16.21 this season, old record of 15.71 in 199 -- also her team) and assists-per-game average (14.90 this season, old record of 14.15 in 1997 -- also her team).

HAMMONS HOT HAMMER PROPELS CARDS TO WIN OVER MARSHALL: Freshman Megan Hammons (Ball State) moved her name right to the top of a short list of candidates for the MAC Freshman of the Year Award by putting together the best match of her career just when her teammates needed her the most. The 6-foot outside attacker blasted nine of her match-high 17 kills in the third game of the match against Marshall to rally BSU from a 13-10 deficit to an eventual 17-15 win. Hammons hit a career-high .429 in the match. Over Ball State's last 11 matches, she has averaged 3.40 kills per game and a .290 attack average. What makes her accomplishments even more impressive is the fact that eight of those matches were against teams competing in this week's Mid-American Conference Tournament. Hammons ranks fifth on the Cardinals in digs (191) and ties for fourth in service aces (20).

ZYLKA'S ANOTHER FRESHMAN PHENOM: Like Megan Hammons, Julie Zylka (Ball State) has staked a claim as the top freshman in the MAC this season. She is trying to join Central Michigan's Karen Histed as the only freshmen in MAC history to hit at least .320 and average more than 1.10 blocks per game. Histed did it in 1985. Zylka, a 6-foot-1 middle attacker averaged 1.33 blocks per game last week to improve her season average to 1.19. That is the third-highest average ever by a BSU freshman and the 10th-highest ever by a MAC freshman. Zylka is averaging 1.30 blocks per game in 18 MAC tilts this season. In addition to her defensive prowess, Zylka is hitting .334 on the season. That is the highest attack average ever registered by a BSU freshman and the fourth- best ever by a league freshman.

BGSU'S SEASON COMPLETE: BGSU ended the season with a pair of home losses to Northern Illinois and Western Michigan. The Falcons compiled an overall record of 11-21 and a 4-14 MAC ledger. Despite the records, however, there were some impressive individual numbers for Falcon players, as the following notes will illustrate.

LEWIS COMES INTO HER OWN: Junior Melissa Lewis, after a breakout season in 1997, compiled even better numbers this year. Lewis had 461 kills in 1998, the seventh-highest single-season total in BGSU history. With a year to go in her career, she ranks 12th on the school career list with 750 kills. Lewis also had 359 digs this year, tying for ninth on that BG seasonal list. Lewis led the Falcons in kills in 11 of the last 12 matches.

KEMERER KEEPS KILLING: Another junior, Lori Kemerer, is rising to the top of the BGSU kills list. Kemerer had 361 kills this fall to give her 976 in her Falcon career. That total ranks eighth all-time at BGSU.

KEMERER DOES IT ALL: Kemerer also is moving up on numerous other career lists. She ends her junior campaign with career totals of 2,545 attack attempts, ranking her eighth all-time. Kemerer also has 879 digs (10th), 90 solo blocks (seventh), 294 block assists (fifth) and 384 total blocks (sixth). She had an even 400 digs this year, the fourth-most in a single season by a BGSU player, and her total of 45 solo rejections ties her for seventh on that school seasonal list.

GREIG WITH THE ASSIST: Junior Heather Greig, in her first season as BGSU's full-time setter, had 1,248 assists, the fifth-most by a Falcon player in a single season. For her career, she now ranks sixth in school annals with 1,325 helpers. This season, Greig also hit .290, with 61 kills and just 12 errors in 169 attempts.

MATCH RECORDS SET: Although the Falcons struggled this year, the team set several single-match records. Junior Melissa Lewis set the school record for attack attempts in a match, with 89 vs. Marshall on Nov. 6. Also, the Falcons set team records for attack attempts (235) and kills (96) in a four-game match, setting those marks vs. St. John's at the James Madison Tournament (Sept. 19).

TALE OF TWO SEASONS: On October 10, the Falcons were 11-7 overall, and BGSU had a MAC record of 4-1. The Brown and Orange did not win another match, however, ending the season with a school-record, 14-match losing streak. Included in that streak were a total of five five-game losses by scores of 16-14, 15-12 (twice), 15-11 and 15-8.

BUFFALO COACH STEPS DOWN: Bob Maxwell, the all-time winningest coach in University at Buffalo volleyball history, announced his retirement following the conclusion of the Bulls' season on Saturday versus Eastern Michigan. Maxwell has coached Buffalo's volleyball team for the past 18 years. He concludes his tenure with a won-loss record of 409-285-8, winning his historic 400th match early in 1998. His 409 wins ranks him among the top 30 all-time among active Division I coaches.

CLOSE ONE: The Central Michigan University Chippewas closed the season with a close 3-2 win at Buffalo on Friday, Nov. 20. The Bulls took the first two games before CMU stormed back to take the match, winning game five by a slim 15-13 margin.

PLAYOFF BOUND: The Chippewas are set to make their 10th MAC tournament appearance. CMU is 3-9 all-time in the tournament and last qualified in 1996. The Maroon and Gold haven't won a MAC tournament match since 1982. Central will play at No. 1-seed Miami in the first round. CMU is 0-4 against Miami in the playoffs, losing in the last two MAC tournament appearances. Miami defeated CMU 3-2 in the Chippewas' last tournament match in 1996. CMU senior Wendy Feldman was named to the all-tournament team that year.

CHIPPEWAS IMPROVE: CMU's 8-10 MAC regular season record was an improvement over last season's 3-13 mark. The Chippewas finished the regular season 11-15 in interim coach Elaine Piha's first season. CMU was 9-7 over the last 16 matches of the season.

AULT ADDS HER NAME: CMU senior Amanda Ault has moved into fourth place in the CMU record books for career assists with 2,640. She started in 1996 and split time with Jessica Rocho last season. Ault was the starter again this season, recording 784 assists in 73 games.

ROCKIN' ROBIN: Robin Ill is five kills away from moving into ninth place in the CMU record books for career kills. She presently has 892. The senior also has 801 career digs, good for eighth place in the record books. Ill is one of only three players in CMU history to record 800 career kills and 700 career digs.

RECORD BOOK WRITER: Wendy Feldman became the all-time attack attempt leader in Central Michigan history in her final regular season match. Feldman now has 3,181 career attempts. She also ranks second in career kills (1,359), sixth in career blocks (339) and seventh in career block solos (74).

SCOOB SETS ASSISTS MARK: Sophomore All-MAC candidate Sara Uehlin reset the Eastern record for assists in a season after setting 1,427 times this season. She eclipses the previous mark of 1,421 held by EMU All-Star Sherry Anderson (1990). "Scoob" now stands third all-time in career assists with 2,582.

HUTTON JUST MISSES MILESTONE: Junior All-MAC candidate Jill Hutton has already etched her name in Eastern Michigan history and will do so next season after just missing the EMU career mark for block assists. Hutton finished the season with the second-best season performance with 111 block assists to give her 284 for her career. That is just five away from break the all-time mark of 288 held by Stacy Graham (1988-91).

IRONMAN STREAK CONTINUES NEXT SEASON: Sophomore Sara Uehlin and junior Jill Hutton continued their streak of consecutive matches played during the 1998 season and will have to wait until next season to add to them. Uehlin has not missed a match or game her entire young career. She has played in 56 straight matches, with 56 straight starts at setter and has complied 208 consecutive games played. Hutton has not missed a match in her entire Eastern career as she has played in 84 straight matches.

WITH TWO GONE, YOUNG CORE RETURNS: With the loss of only two seniors - Sara Arndt and Cintia Runha - the Eagles return 12 players for next season. The experience gained this season will only be a plus for the future. Next year's seniors Lucy Atkins, Jill Hutton, Dana Krete and Karen Simpson are Coach Berrington's first Eastern recruiting class.

CLOSE TO THE RECORDS: Eastern Michigan junior Jill Hutton has 284 career block assists, which moves her to second all-time. She is just four away from setting the mark held by Stacy Graham (1988-91) with 288. Hutton also is fourth all-time with 77 block solos. Roxanne Munch (1986-89) holds the all-time mark with 140 block solos. Sophomore Sara Uehlin is the fourth player in EMU history to break 2,000 assists for a career with 2,582. She now stands third all-time in career assists. The all-time mark is held by EMU All-Star Sherry Anderson (1987-90) with 4,513.

KENT SEASON WRAP UP: Kent finished the season with an 11-21 overall mark and a 5-13 MAC slate. Saturday's match against NIU marked the final matches of career for middle blocker Becky Neglia and defensive specialist Adrienne Rigdon. The duo went 69-57 with two trips to the MAC Tournament and an appearance in the 1996 final. Neglia will leave Kent with her name firmly etched in the record books. She became the first player with 1500 kills (1533) and moved into fifth place on the MAC kills list. Neglia also is first in kills per game (3.46), hitting percentage (.291), block assists (372) and ranks second in digs (963) and total blocks (433).

1000 KILL PLATEAU: Marshall senior outside hitter Michelle Sammarco became just the fifth player in Marshall history to reach the 1,000-kill milestone for her career versus Morehead State. Sammarco needed just 10 kills entering the match, but reeled off a career-high 29 to help the Herd come back from a 0-2 deficit. Sammarco also hit a career-best .412 for the match.

SET THE BALL: Junior setter Nicole Frizzo had a big week in the history department. On Tuesday, she broke her own single-match assist record with 87 helpers. Frizzo also had the old record of 86 that she set versus Akron last season. She followed that up with a 38-assist performance that put her over the 4,000 mark for her career. She is the only Herd player ever to have three 1,000-assist seasons.

NEW ARENA RECORD: Senior outside hitter Jenni Corbin established a new Ball State University Arena record with five service aces in the Herd's loss to the Cardinals on Saturday. Corbin is now third on the team with 31 aces on the season.

20-WIN SEASON: The Herd reached the 20-win plateau for just the third time since 1983. The last time was 1996 when the Marshall won the Southern Conference regular season championship.

MARSHALL COACH STEFFI LEGALL: Head coach Steffi Legall is now 32-31 in her two seasons at Marshall. The 32 wins is the third-highest total for coaches in their first two seasons at MU. Linda Holmes won 43 games in 1976 and 1977, while Susan Steadman earned 46 victories in her only two seasons of 1995 and 1996. Including Legall, the Herd has had 11 head coaches in 26 seasons of competition.

CONSISTENCY COUNTS: Consistency in performance from all of Miami's mainstays in the lineup has been a key to the RedHawks earning their fourth consecutive MAC title. Julie Sterk, Maggie Clark, Mindy Collins and Alissia Thompson are all averaging over three kills per game. Collins, Thompson, Clark, Jamie Hales and Kerry Hardek are all above the 200-dig mark for the season, and, along with Lori Moehring, have each amassed over 20 aces on the season. Seven Miami players are in double digits for blocks this season, with Sterk leading the way with 116.

20/20 VISION: With the RedHawks win over Toledo on Nov. 1, Miami secured its fourth consecutive 20 win season. During the 1995 and 1996 seasons, Miami recorded 24-7 records. Last year, the RedHawks compiled a 23-8 mark. This is 14th 20+ win season in the program's history, which dates back to 1974.

MIAMI RANKED 30TH IN NATION: The RedHawks ranked 30th in the nation in the Nov. 16 USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll. Miami, which received 11 points this week, has received votes nine of the 11 weeks and has earned points in the poll eight consecutive weeks.

CALLING ON COLLINS: Junior Mindy Collins is leading the team this season in digs (337), averaging 3.15 per game, and is tied for first in service aces (37). She ranks third in blocks (62). Averaging 3.16 kills per game, Collins ranks fourth in kills (338).

HARDEK SETTIN' PRETTY: Junior Kerry Hardek is quickly placing her name on the Miami charts. Amassing 1,358 assists this season, Hardek is already ranked seventh at Miami in assists in a season. She is only one assist away from the No. 6 total and nine away from Jessica Stout's 1997 total of 1,367. Hardek, who ranked fourth in the conference last week, is averaging 12.69 assists per game. She has helped Miami to a third place conference ranking in assists.

CLARK ON THE MARK: Senior Maggie Clark (Miami) is leading the team in kills (364) and is tied for first on the team in service aces (37) and is second on the team in digs (335). Clark has 922 career digs and jumped to ninth at Miami for career digs. She also has 952 career kills, and has tallied 11 or more kills in 20 of Miami's 30 matches this season.

CONDIT-SATION: In her 15th season at the Miami helm, Carolyn Condit tries to continue bettering her 306-174 Miami record. She recorded her 300th Miami victory at Bowling Green on Oct. 21 and earned her 400th career triumph at Central Michigan on Oct. 25. Over the past 14 years, Condit's teams have made four NCAA appearances, played in two NIVC tournaments, and won four MAC titles. She is the winningest coach in Miami history and currently has the most conference victories of any active volleyball coach in the MAC with a 160-62 mark, a .721 winning percentage.

STERK ALERT: Senior Julie Sterk has been a pillar of strength in the Miami lineup this season. She leads the team in blocks with 116, ranking fourth on the career solo block chart (75) and sixth on the block assist list (296). Sterk also placed her name on the Miami career kill chart this season with 1,121 to date. Leading the team in hitting percentage (.312) this season, Sterk rates seventh in the MAC in this category and has helped Miami to a third-place hitting percentage ranking in the MAC.

HOME SWEET HOME: Miami owns a 14-1 mark in Millett Hall this season for a .933 home court winning percentage. In 1997, Miami won 14 of its 16 home matches, an .875 winning percentage. The RedHawks held an eight-game Millett Hall winning streak until the final of the MAC Tournament against Northern Illinois. Since its three-game win over Alabama on Sept. 12, Miami has recorded 10 consecutive wins at Millett. Dating back to the 1994 season, Miami has attained an .836 win record (61-12) at home.

NORTHERN ILLINOIS RECAP: With this season's tri-championship with Miami and Ball State, Northern Illinois has won eight regular-season titles under head coach Pete Waite. The first-place finishes come in conference affiliations with the North Star Conference (1989-91), Mid-Continent Conference (1992-93), Midwestern Collegiate Conference (1994-96) and Mid-American (1997-98). Since rejoining the MAC in 1997, NIU has played 37 Mid-Am matches and won 32 of them. Twenty-five of the 32 wins were 3-0 sweeps. The Huskies have only been swept twice in MAC competition. NIU head coach Pete Waite maintains a 263-100 career record.

FIRST POST-SEASON TRIP: Ohio qualifies for the MAC Tournament as the fifth seed. It's the first trip ever for the Bobcats. Ohio finished the regular season with a 20-13 overall mark and a 12-6 MAC slate.

COWLING SETS THE SCHOOL RECORD: Against Ball State, Ohio setter Carolyn Cowling set a school record for assists in a season with 1357. She eclipsed the old mark of 1271.

OTHER OHIO NOTABLES: Also against Ball State, Ohio's Amber Merrill picked up her 400th kill of the season. Junior outside hitter Katie Mullen needs 13 to reach 400 as well.

ASHLEY CLARK STEPS IT UP: Junior setter Ashley Clark (Toledo) stepped it up in her initial campaign with the Rockets. She led the team in attack percentage (.267) and assists (864). Clark also achieved a team-high six double-doubles.

CLOSING IN ON THE RECORD: Stefanie Rotunno and Traci Morin both had brushes with the Western Michigan Bronco record book Saturday against Bowling Green. Rotunno was one service ace shy of setting a new school record for aces in a three-game match. She had six against the Falcons. Morin's five aces left her one ace shy of tying the record she matched with six aces against Iowa State. The record is now held by five players.

COLE TURNS IT UP: Andrea Cole hit .323 (28-8-62) in WMU's two matches last weekend. She heads into the conference tournament as one of the hottest Broncos. Cole is hitting .353 (77-22-156) in Western's last seven matches. She has reached double figures in kills four times during that span.

19 WIN TOTAL: The Broncos' 19 overall victories are the team's second best total in the past six seasons, surpassed only by the 1996 squad's 20 wins. Western's 11 MAC victories are the team's best in the past seven seasons. The 1991 edition of the Broncos also won 11 league matches.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE ACTION: Stefannie Rotunno (Western Michigan) posted her 13th and 14th double-doubles of the year against Kent and Bowling Green. Western is 10-4 when she accomplishes that task. Rotunno has posted 30 double-doubles in her collegiate career.

DIG THE BALL: Defensive specialist Kelly Kuharski had surgery to repair her damaged ACL and MCL on Friday. In honor of their injured teammate, the Broncos made 71 digs against Kent on Friday, the team's second-best total in a four-game match this season.