USI Volleyball Set To Host Five-Team Invitational


EVANSVILLE, Ind.—University of Southern Indiana Volleyball opens its 2021 home schedule Thursday at 7 p.m. when it hosts the University of Alabama-Huntsville at Screaming Eagles Arena.

Thursday’s match is the first of 10 volleyball matches at Screaming Eagles Arena this weekend as the Screaming Eagles host their five-team USI Invitational.

Friday’s action includes USI taking on the University of Missouri-St. Louis in a non-conference match at 2:30 p.m. as well as Davis & Elkins College (WV) at 7 p.m. Other matches Friday include Missouri-St. Louis taking on Wayne State University (MI) at 10 a.m.; Alabama-Huntsville versus Davis & Elkins at 12:15 p.m.; and Wayne State taking on Alabama-Huntsville at 4:45 p.m.

USI (2-2) concludes the weekend with about against Wayne State Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Other matchups on Saturday include Alabama-Huntsville against Missouri St. Louis at 10 a.m.; Wayne State versus Davis & Elkins at 12:15 p.m.; and Missouri-St. Louis versus Davis & Elkins at 4:45 p.m.

If you go
Tickets for the USI Invitational are priced for single-day passes. Adults (18-and-over) are $8, while non-USI students (ages 6-17) are $5. Children (5-and-under), USI students, USI faculty and USI staff (all with valid ID) are admitted free of charge. Per University policy, masks are required inside Screaming Eagles Arena.

Game Coverage
All 10 of this weekend’s volleyball matches will be streamed on the GLVC Sports Network, while live stats are available at

USI Volleyball Notes
• Eagles start year 2-2. USI is off to a 2-2 start following its trip to the UWF Springhill Invitational. The Eagles saw a two-set lead slip away in a five-set loss to then No. 23 Wheeling University before ending their opening day with a three-set loss to host the University of West Florida. USI bounced back the following day, rallying from a two-set deficit to defeat Palm Beach Atlantic University in five sets before sweeping Spring Hill College in the nightcap.

• AVCA Top 25. The Eagles are receiving votes outside this week’s AVCA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll following their opening weekend. USI received 43 votes, while Missouri-St. Louis dropped out of the preseason Top 25 and is now receiving 50 votes. The GLVC also is represented by No. 5 Lewis University and No. 25 Rockhurst University.

• Cepicky surpasses 3,000 assists. Senior setter Casey Cepicky surpassed the 3,000-assist plateau in the second set of USI’s five-set, season-opening loss to Wheeling. Cepicky ranks fourth all-time at USI with 3,105 career assists and is just 66 digs away from becoming the first player in program history with 3,000 assists and 1,000 digs.

•  Season leaders. Sophomore outside hitter Leah Anderson (Bloomington, Illinois) leads USI with 2.88 kills,  3.59 points and 0.44 assist per set, while junior middle hitter Taylor Litteken(Foristell, Missouri) has a team-high .438 attacking percentage and 0.93 blocks per frame. Cepicky is averaging a team-high 8.19 assists per set, senior libero Callie Gubera (Thorntown, Indiana) is contributing a team-leading 3.88 digs sets per set.

• Looking for repeat. The Eagles capped a historic 2020-21 campaign with their first GLVC Tournament title since 2004 and third in program history. USI ended the regular-season with a five-set, come-from-behind road win over then No. 1 previously unbeaten Lewis before winning three matches in the GLVC Tournament, including a semi-final sweep of nationally-ranked Missouri-St. Louis.

• Raff completes the circle. Head Coach Randi Raff came full circle when USI won the GLVC Tournament last spring. She was a senior on USI’s 2004 GLVC Tournament championship team and returned to lead USI in 2019.

• Big return. USI brings back nine players, including all its starters, off a team that finished the 2020-21 season 17-4 overall and ranked No. 15 in the final AVCA Top 25 Coaches’ Poll. That list includes Cepicky and Gubera, both of whom are returning for their fifth year of eligibility due to NCAA COVID-19 rules. Middle blocker Sidney Hegg (Menasha, Wisconsin) rounds out this year’s senior class.

• USI brings back four All-GLVC honorees. Included in that list of returning players is four All-GLVC honorees. Anderson earned first-team honors last spring, while Cepicky, Litteken and sophomore right-side hitter Katherine Koch (Belleville, Illinois) were all named to the second team.

• Anderson, Gubera were recognized nationally. Anderson and Gubera were both named AVCA Division II Player of the Week last spring. It marked the third and fourth times in program history that USI has had a volleyball player recognized with the AVCA’s National Player of the Week award and the first time USI has had two players in the award in the same season.

• Roster maintenance. While Cepicky and Gubera are coming back for their fifth years in a USI uniform, all of USI’s players from its 2020-21 roster maintained their same eligibility as last season on this year’s roster with the exception of Hegg. The Eagles welcomed five new players to their roster this year, including freshman transfer Lauren O’Neill (Covington, Indiana) and true freshmen Paris Downing (Avon, Indiana), Anna Ballengee (Montgomery, Indiana), Evie Duncan (Evansville, Indiana) and Carly Sobieralski (Indianapolis, Indiana). Freshmen outside hitters Abby Weber (Fishers, Indiana), Abby Bednar (Chagrin Falls, Ohio), and Taya Dazey (Fort Wayne, Indiana) all contributed to the Eagles in 2020-21.