Eagles open 2019 slate at Capital Classic

Eagles open 2019 slate at Capital Classic

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) -The University of Southern Indiana volleyball team hits the road for Great Lakes Valley Conference foe University of Illinois Springfield to compete in the Capital Classic on Friday.

The Screaming Eagles face Winona State University and the University of Charleston on Friday before returning to the UIS TRAC on Saturday to face the host Prairie Stars in non-conference action.

Coverage of USI Volleyball can be found at GoUSIEagles.com

Season-Opening Notes:

Senior Leadership: The Eagles embark on the 2019 campaign with five seniors in tow: middle hitter Elexis Coleman, defensive specialist Lizzy Gardner, libero/outside hitter Mikaila Humphrey, middle blocker/right side hitter Amanda Jung and outside hitter Lindsey Stose. The group has combined to play in 332 matches across a combined 14 seasons of work; nearly 24 matches per player, per season.

Starting Strong: USI Volleyball has won six of its last seven season-openers, all six victories coming in three-set matches. The Eagles are 17-13 in season-openers since 1989, 13-7 over the last 20 years.

Under New Management: Head Coach Randi Raff enters her first season at the helm for the Eagles. The 2005 graduate of USI returns to Evansville after spending several years as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the NCAA Division-I level, most recently at Georgia Tech.

The GLVC’s Opinion: The league’s coaches predicted the Eagles to land 12th in the 2019 preseason poll. USI finished tied for 12th with Quincy University in 2018.

USI vs. Winona State: In three all-time meetings, the Eagles have yet to top the Warriors. The first-ever meeting came in 2007, followed by a pair of matches against then-No. 13 Winona State in the Augustana Invitational in 2016.

Winona State in 2018: The Warriors posted a 13-15 record last season, 10-10 as a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference. Winona State posted wins against two nationally-ranked squads in 2018: No. 7 Southwest Minnesota State University and No. 18 Wayne State College (NE)

USI vs. Charleston: The Screaming Eagles have bested the Golden Eagles in all four all-time matchups. USI has defeated Charleston in three sets all four meetings, the most recent meeting was 2002.

Charleston in 2018: The Golden Eagles went 18-17 a year ago, with an 11-5 record in the Mountain East Conference.

USI vs. UIS: The Screaming Eagles lead the all-time series against the Prairie Stars 9-5, but all five losses for the Eagles have come in the last seven meetings (since 2015).

Illinois Springfield in 2018: The Prairie Stars are fresh off their best season since joining the NCAA, posting a 25-8 record (15-3 GLVC), collecting a share of the GLVC regular season title and representing the GLVC as a sixth seed in the Midwest Regional a year ago.

Courtesy: USI Athletics

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