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Western volleball looks to win in Charleston

Senior%2C+Shalyn+Greenhaw+helps+the+Leathernecks+score+witha+spike.
Senior, Shalyn Greenhaw helps the Leathernecks score witha spike.

Senior, Shalyn Greenhaw helps the Leathernecks score witha spike.

File Photo

File Photo

Senior, Shalyn Greenhaw helps the Leathernecks score witha spike.

Brie Coder, Courier Staff

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This weekend, the Leathernecks head out of town once more to compete in the Eastern Illinois University (EIU) Panther Invitational in Charleston, Ill. The event begins on Friday, Sept. 8 when Western Illinois University faces off against Chicago State University at 6 p.m. Two more matches will follow for the Leathernecks on Saturday, Sept. 9 beginning at 10 a.m. against Alabama A&M. The last event is later that same evening against Eastern Illinois at 7 p.m.

Western recently came back from the UAB Blazer Invitational in Birmingham, Ala. with one win against Charleston Southern. The win for the Leathernecks had highlights from red shirt freshman Mackenzie Steckler, senior Shalyn Greenhaw and junior Shiah Sanders. Each player recorded 12 kills in the match, that lasted five sets. Junior setter Jaime Johnson logged 48 digs in the match. The invitational shifted in a different direction later in the invitational, for the Leathernecks, with two losses from Austin Peay University and host UAB. This made the score 1-2 for the Purple and Gold. On Sept. 4, after a tough two-day competition the Leathernecks would then head to Cape Girardeau, Mo. to compete in a singles match against Southeast Missouri State. In the match the team was led by outside hitter Emma Norris with 15 kills, and 46 Johnson assists. Unfortunately, Western fell causing another loss for the team.

Among the wins and losses, the Leathernecks have some strong players in the division that could benefit them this weekend at the EIU Panther Invitational. Sophomore outside hitter Claire Grove leads the league with 126 digs. Grove is also third in the league for digs per set at 4.34. Norris rounds out the top five in digs with 86, and is also fourth among Summit League players in kills with 80. Middle/outside hitter Steckler, is fifth in hitting percentage with a .323 clip. Johnson concludes the players to watch for, with assists per set at 8.62.

Chicago State will be the first opponents of Western’s at the EIU Panther Invitational. This isn’t the first time that the two teams have competed against one other. The Leathernecks beat the Cougars 3-0 at the Hampton Inn Leatherneck Invitational on August 26th.

The Cougars are coming to the Panther Invitational with a 4-3 record. Lauryn Dela Cruz leads the Cougars with 114 kills (4.22 k/set). Following behind is Carmen Carvajal with 105 kills (3.89 k/set).

Alabama A&M will be the second competitors against the Leathernecks on the second day of the Panther Invitational. The Bulldogs will be coming into the invite with a 0-4 record. Terra Brooks leads the team with 26 kills, whereas Cierra Davis leads with 27 digs. This will be the first time both A&M and Western face off against each other.

The last team competing in the invitational is Eastern Illinois University. Coming into this tournament the Panthers have a 3-3 record. EIU leads the all-time series with 28-14. This is the second, and last tournament that Eastern Illinois is hosting this year.

Once the EIU Panther Invitational concludes, Western is returning home for a matchup against Saint Louis September 12th. Beginning September 15th, Western is hosting its second and final invitational for the season. Valparaiso, Drake and McNeese are just three of the teams competing at Western Hall for the Buffalo Wild Wings Invitational.

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The independent student newspaper of Western Illinois University. Serving Macomb since 1905.
Western volleball looks to win in Charleston