USI Ladies Volleyball Sets The Stage For Division I


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – University of Southern Indiana Volleyball (0-0, 0-0 OVC) begins NCAA Division I play as the Screaming Eagles host Murray State University (0-0, 0-0 MVC) Friday August 26 at 6 p.m. and Saturday August 27 at 2 p.m. After the home opener, the Eagles head across town to the University of Evansville (0-0, 0-0 MVC) to face the Aces Tuesday August 30 at 6 p.m. These will be the first regular season Division I matches the Eagles play since joining the Ohio Valley Conference in early 2022.
Game Coverage
Information about USI Volleyball, including live stats, video, and audio broadcasts, is available on 
Tickets for USI Volleyball home matches can be purchased at the ticket window on game day or online. Adults (ages 18 and over) are $8, while non-USI students (ages 12-17) are $5. All USI students, faculty, and staff with a valid ID are admitted free. Children 11-and-under also are admitted free.
Tickets for the USI, Evansville match at Meeks Family Fieldhouse can be purchased through the Aces athletic website. Adults are $8 while seniors and youth are $6.
Screaming Eagles Headlines:
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 will be a full-time member of the Ohio Valley Conference.
A First for Everything. USI will face NCAA Division I opponents during the regular season for the first time in program history. The Eagles spent 42 seasons in NCAA Division II.
Schedule Breakdown. USI will host 11 matches this fall while traveling for 18 matches, including three non-conference tournaments. The Eagles face OVC opponents 18 times while battling non-conference foes 11 times.
Pre-Season Poll and Honors. The OVC predicted that USI would finish eighth in the conference standings after gaining 48 votes, just above Lindenwood and Tennessee State. Junior outside hitter Leah Anderson was voted to the Preseason All-OVC Team as the lone Eagle to make the team.
Familiar Faces. USI returns nine players from last year’s roster including Anderson, who ranks seventh all-time at USI with 139 career service aces and 18th with 884 kills. Also returning is sophomore outside/right side hitter Abby Bednar, who led USI with 2.80 kills per set in 2021.
No Place Like Home. The Eagles finished 2021 with an 11-2 home record. Since the opening of Screaming Eagles Arena in 2019, USI has a combined 27-6 home record.
History in the Making. Anderson is within striking distance of becoming the 15th player in program history to reach the 1,000-kill plateau and 13th player to reach the 1,000-dig plateau. If successful in both endeavors, Anderson would become the fifth player in program history to reach both milestones.
Killer Offense. USI’s offensive attack was stellar in 2021, nabbing 1,509 kills compared to its opponent’s 1,427. The Eagles also tallied 1,364 assists and 186 service aces, both more than its opponents.
Block It Like It’s Hot. The Eagles’ front lines stood tall last fall, recording 244 total blocks with a little over two blocks per set.
Young Core. USI has 10 underclassmen coming into 2021, which includes seven sophomores and three freshmen. The Eagles also are playing with just three upperclassmen, all three being juniors
About Murray State. The Racers ended last season with an 18-12 record, finishing 11-7 in its final season in the Ohio Valley Conference. Murray State is predicted to finish 10th in the Missouri Valley Conference this season after receiving 43 votes, just behind Belmont and Southern Illinois.
Leading the Racers. Murray State returns six players to the 2022 roster from last season, adding eight newcomers and transfers. Junior Jayla Holcombe put up promising numbers for the Racers last fall, tallying 211 kills and 32 total blocks. Sophomore Bailey DeMier made the 1,000-assists club after recording a conference-most 1,270 assists in 2021.
About Evansville. The Purple Aces finished with a 21-12 record in 2021, finishing 9-9 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Evansville is predicted to finish second in the MVC after receiving two top votes. It was the highest preseason ranking in program history. The Aces will compete in the Marshall Invitational prior to facing USI on Tuesday.
Leading the Aces. Fifth year senior Alondra Vazquez returns for the Aces after tallying a team-high 494 kills and 58 service aces last season. Vazquez also led the team with 327 digs and was named to the Preseason All-MVC Team, along with senior teammate, Melanie Feliciano. Evansville also returns sophomore Madisyn Steele, who led the Aces on the front lines with 79 total blocks.
Cross-Town Rivalry. USI faces Evansville for the 25th time in program history. The Eagles are 6-18 versus the Aces after losing the first 11 matches from 1980-84. The last time the two clubs collided was an exhibition match in 2019 USI came up victorious, 3-2, at Screaming Eagles Arena.