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Volleyball News & Highlights

October 04, 2013

MAC Crossover Features Top Teams

No. 13 Eastern and No. 20 Stevenson will go head-to-head at 10 am.

FOur top teams will converge on St. Davids for a full day of volleyball.

ST. DAVIDS, Pa.- Eastern University is set to host the MAC Volleyball Crossover all day this Saturday. The Crossover features last year's top two finishers from the Freedom Conference and the top two finishers from the Commonwealth. As the 2012 Freedom Champion, Eastern will host the event, which this year features a pair of teams in the National rankings.

The host Eagles enter this weekend's action ranked 13th in the latest AVCA National Poll. Eastern has a balanced attack led by 2012 Freedom Conference Player of the Year Kearby Benak. The senior from Houston, Texas, averages three kills and nearly three digs per set. While her totals are down a little from where they were last season, Benak's efficiency numbers are up as sophomore setter Rikki Schlager has been able to spread the attack to more players in all rotations. Katrina Pisch is ranked second in the nation with a .454 hitting percentage, and first-year Stephanie Elechko has been a force in the middle with 35 blocks and 133 kills. Lauren Sproles (159 kills) has double-figure kills in five of the last six Eastern matches. 

No. 20 Stevenson is the defending Commonwealth Conference Champions. The Mustangs (23-0) topped Eastern in five sets last year at York, but the Eagles earned a three-set win in the second round of the NCAA Tournament at Salisbury. Stevenson is led by Imani Hudson. The high-flying sophomore averages over three and a half kills per set. Christine Isenberg and Kristen Brooks also average nearly three kills per set. Stevenson beat Messiah in four sets on Sept. 19. Jessica Gieselman (11.34), like Eastern's Schlager (11.5), has been near the top of the national rankings in assists per set.

Messiah finished as the Commonwealth Conference runner-up in 2012. The Falcons (9-7) won both their matches at this event last year with a five-set win over Eastern and a four-set win over DeSales. Kristen Douglas leads the Falcons with over three kills per set. Jessica Geib averages nearly 10 assists per set as the primary architect of the Falcon attack.

DeSales (10-9) returns to the Eastern gymnasium for the second time this season. The Bulldogs took an early lead in the opening set on Sept. 24 before the Eagles rallied to win in three. DeSales features several impressive freshmen and has played a non-league schedule replete with regionally-ranked teams. Lauren Hess averages 3.71 kills per set with 234 kills to lead the DeSales attack.

Eastern will provide live stats and video for all four matches on the day, and scores will be updated on this page as they become final. Because volleyball matches can be extended, the times listed may be altered slightly to accommodate proper warm-up.

There will be admission charged for admittance into the event. Proceeds from the gate of this event will be used to make a donation to the in support of King's College Women's Basketball Coach Brian Donoghue and his family as he continues to battle brain cancer. Those in attendance will also have the ability to give beyond the price of admission.

$5 Adults
$4 Seniors
$2 Students
Free Eastern Students with ID and Children under 12

Games featuring Eastern University will have full broadcast team. The two middle games will have a single camera and scoreboard only.

 TIme  Teams  Video/ Scores
 10:00  Eastern vs. Stevenson
 Video  Live Stats
 Eastern 3-0
 12:00  DeSales vs. Stevenson
 Video  Live Stats  Stevenson 3-1
 2:00  DeSales vs. Messiah
 Video  Live Stats  DeSales 3-1
 4:00  Eastern vs. Messiah
 Video  Live Stats  Eastern 3-0



Updated: Saturday, 05 October 2013


Mark Birtwistle

Mark Birtwistle

Coach Birtwistle has won more than 600 games and 16 Conference Championships as Eastern's Volleyball Coach

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