A young squad entering the 2010 season, The University of Akron volleyball team welcomes four newcomers including three freshmen and one transfer to the squad this year. With only one senior, UA will look to rebuild after losing a strong class last season.
Akron's deepest position will be at middle blocker as the Zips return lone senior Jackie Goleman and junior Tina Dimitrijevs. Both led the team in blocks with 62 and 50 and combined for 451 kills last year. Also seeing action on the floor will be sophomore Paiton Twitty and redshirt freshman Alex Wiederholt.
UA's outside hitter position has the most growth this year as the Zips return junior Courtney Jarvis while welcoming three newcomers to the spot. Prep school standout Ari Mewhorter will see her first action as a Zip after redshirting as a freshman due to injury. As well, junior transfer Chazity Bush and freshman Alex Cocklin, a four time All-Michigan State honoree, will see floor time.
Sophomore defensive star Chelsea Harvey will return to her spot at libero this season. Leading the team in digs as a freshman with 335, Harvey can easily stand up against the best in the league. Also seeing time defensively will be newcomer Christina Furda who joined the Akron program from Indian Creek High School in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The setter position will be the hardest to determine for UA as sophomore Morgan Kuhn and freshman Jill Paluch will both battle for the starting job. Kuhn saw action in 45 games last year posting 113 assists while Paluch joins the Zips as a standout setter from Nazareth Academy in Chicago, Ill.
The young squad will travel to three new tournaments this fall as well as host one of their own for the second consecutive season prior to the start of the Mid-American Conference regular-season schedule. As well, a new dimension has been added to the schedule this year with a weekend of play set for after the MAC tournament.
The season will open for the Zips in Morgantown, W. Va., Aug. 28-29, at the West Virginia Classic where they will face Youngstown State, Howard and West Virginia. Akron faced WVU last season at its home tournament falling in a close five set match (25-15, 19-25, 25-21, 21-25, 13-15) to the Mountaineers.
The Zips will return south for their second trip traveling to Lawrence, Kan. for the Jayhawk Classic being held Sept. 3-4. Facing off against host school Kansas, Chattanooga and Arkansas, the trip will be a homecoming for Goleman who hails from nearby De Soto, Kan.
Following the classic, Akron will return home to the James A. Rhodes Arena and host the Akron Invitational, Sept. 10-11, welcoming Appalachian State, Indiana State, and St. Francis (PA). The Zips will be looking to improve on their 2-2 mark in last year's invitational. SFU is the only returning team. UA picked up a 25-20, 25-16, 25-23 win over the Red Flash last season.
Returning to the road for one final tournament before the MAC season begins; Akron will travel to Hamilton, N.Y. to compete in the Colgate Invitational being held Sept. 17-18 where UA will battle Colgate, Cornell, and Connecticut.
In search of the program's first league title, Akron will begin its conference schedule with a two game home stand Sept. 24 when the Zips host Bowling Green and Miami (OH). The conference schedule will end Nov. 13 in Muncie, Ind. when the Zips square off with the Ball State Cardinals. Following the league season the Zips will wrap up the year when they travel to Long Beach, Calif. to take on Seattle, Long Beach State and UC Irvine in the Mizuno Thanksgiving Tournament.