EVANSVILLE, Ind. – this weekend at the Indiana Invitational at Wilkinson Hall in Bloomington, Indiana. The Screaming Eagles will face a trio of opponents starting with the University of New Hampshire and Radford University on Friday, August 25 at noon and 3 p.m. respectively then Indiana University on Saturday, August 26 at 9 a.m.

Game Coverage

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Screaming Eagles Headlines:

New Year, New Fortunes. The Screaming Eagles look to improve off last year’s NCAA DI inaugural season, going 1-28 overall and 1-17 in the Ohio Valley Conference.

You Have To #OVCit. The Eagles are in their second season in NCAA Division I and the OVC. USI is looking for their first conference tournament berth in the DI era.

New Faces. USI has added five newcomers to the roster: Leah Coleman, Ellie Marbet, Mariah Minor, Jillian Moonan, and Maeve Moonan. The Eagles also hired first-year head coach Jeffrey Aucoin as the 13th head coach in program history.

Preseason Poll and All-OVC. Senior Leah Anderson scored enough votes to land herself on the Preseason All-OVC Team. The Eagles were picked to finish last out of 11 teams within the conference.

Conference Top 10. The Eagles ended last season with four players ranked in the top 10 within the OVC in five categories. Senior Leah Anderson stood fourth in points/set (3.77), fifth in kills/set (3.24), and 10th in digs/set (2.95). Junior Carly Sobieralski ranked sixth in assists/set (6.32) with junior Paris Downing sitting ninth in blocks/set (0.99). Sophomore Keira Moore kicked off her collegiate career with a 3.87 digs/set average, ranking seventh.

Team Leaders. Senior Leah Anderson led the group with 347 kills, 316 digs, and 28 service aces. Junior Carly Sobieralski took the reins as the setter, earning 512 assists. Junior Paris Downing handled the front lines for USI, tallying 92 total blocks.

All-Conference Selection. Senior Leah Anderson nabbed the program’s first-ever All-OVC honor, securing second-team accolades.

Schedule Forecast. The Eagles’ 2023 campaign will consist of 12 home, 13 away, and four neutral matches. USI will also host a four-team tournament in September. The conference slate will feature nine home and nine away matches including the OVC Championship in late November.

Eagles in the Classroom. 10 Eagles scored OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll accolades after earning a 3.25 or higher GPA during the 2022-23 academic year.

History in Progress. Senior Leah Anderson will look to leave her mark as one of the greatest in USI Volleyball history. She enters the 2023 season ranked No. 3 all-time at USI with 167 career service aces, No. 7 with 1,231 kills, and No. 10 with 1,106 digs. The outside hitter became the 15th player to reach 1,000 kills, the 13th player to reach 1,000 digs, and the fifth player in program history to reach both feats. She has joined an elite group that includes Shannon Wells, Jamie Roth, Danielle Peter, and Leeanne Gross in the 1,000 kills/1,000 digs club.

About New Hampshire. The Wildcats finished last season 19-10 overall with a 6-5 record in the America East Conference. UNH was picked to finish third in the America East Conference. The Wildcats ended the year with 1,208 kills, 1,087 assists, 1,501 digs, 220 blocks, and 183 aces. UNH’s 1.76 aces per set margin ranked 37th in the nation last year. With an opponent attacking percentage of 0.167 in 2022, the Wildcats ranked 21st in NCAA DI. The USI, UNH match will be the first match of the season for both teams.

Leading the Wildcats. Senior Hannah Serbousek returns to the squad after throwing down a team-high 225 kills last season. Senior Jamison White held the second-most assists with 274 while sophomore Avery LePore served up a team-leading 28 aces. Defensively, senior Mia Pagliarini nabbed 294 digs while senior Kelly Kaufmann earned 82 total blocks.

About Radford. The Highlanders look to improve off last season’s 12-16 overall record and 8-8 Big South Conference mark. The team is predicted to finish fourth in the Big South Conference. Radford captured a five-set victory over OVC foe, UT Martin, to kick off 2022. In 2022, the Highlanders earned 1,187 kills, 1,113 assists, 1,632 digs, 171 total blocks, and 128 aces. Radford’s 16 digs per set marked 43rd best in the NCAA while an opponent hitting percentage of 0.185 stood 69th in DI. The USI, Radford match will be the first for the Highlanders in 2023.

Leading the Highlanders. Radford’s top-three attackers from last season are no longer on the roster so junior Sophie Paspal will lead the charge at the net on both ends after tallying 177 kills and 65 blocks in 2022. Senior Shelby Hernandez was a team leader in two categories after securing 420 digs and 25 aces. Sophomore Jackeline Nerro will step up after an impressive 402 assists season, second-most on the squad.

About Indiana. The Hoosiers were split last season, going 16-16 overall and 9-11 in the Big Ten Conference. The team is predicted to finish eighth in the conference. Indiana was able to get the best of OVC rival, Tennessee Tech, in three sets. The Hoosier know how to split the gaps from the line, serving up the 12th most team aces (218) and the 33rd highest ace per set margin (1.77) in the country.

Leading the Hoosiers. Junior Mady Saris returns to the squad after posting the most points on the team and the 67th most points in the NCAA DI (489). Saris secured the most kills on the team with 427, 69th most in the country. Junior Camryn Haworth set the Hoosiers up in the passing game, earning 1,111 assists, good enough for 59th most in the nation. Haworth also nabbed a team-leading 0.40 aces per set while posting the lone triple-double.

Welcome to Division I. USI Board of Trustees voted unanimously in January 2022 to transition to NCAA Division I athletics beginning in the fall of 2022. The Eagles are a full-time member of the OVC and will face Division I opponents during the regular season for just the second time in program history. The Eagles previously spent 42 seasons in NCAA Division II.

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