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IU looks to put 2011 season in past

POSTED AT 12:17 AM ON Aug. 24, 2012  (UPDATED AT 12:17 AM ON Aug. 24, 2012)

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IU’s volleyball team will receive its first taste of competition this season when they fly to the Black Knight Invitational in West Point, N.Y.

IU Coach Sherry Dunbar said she wants her team to experience not only the tournament but also the scenery West Point offers.

“We have a professor at West Point that’s going to take us on an hour-and-a-half tour, which I think is going to be remarkable,” Dunbar said. “It’s a great two-part thing. West Point had a great year last year, and I think it’s a good first tournament.”

The team is not going just for a tour. They go to West Point to win.

“Everybody has the same expectations that you’re going to come out and be a different team,” Dunbar said. “So I think we absolutely have expectations to win.”

Stony Brook will be the team’s first opponent. Play will start at 1 p.m. Friday.

The Seawolves had an overall record of 15-13 last year and were recently voted to finish second in the American East conference, according to the conference coaches’ poll.

After battling the Seawolves, the Hoosiers will focus their attention to a team of Black Knights.

The match against Team Army will start at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Army boasted a 23-8 record last season, the best of all the competitors this weekend.

Like Stony Brook, the Black Knights were picked to finish second in their respective conference, the Patriot League, and also garnered two of the 16 first place votes.

Senior outside hitter Ariana Mankus and sophomore setter Mary Vaccaro earned spots in the Preseason All-Patriot League team.

IU will conclude its opening weekend of play at 4 p.m. Saturday against Quinnipiac.

The Bobcats will try to recover from a 4-25 campaign last year and are picked to finish ninth out of nine teams in the Northeast Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll.

IU is the only team from a BCS conference to take part in the Black Knight
Invitational.

Junior outside hitter Jordan Haverly will see her first action since the team’s Sweet Sixteen run in 2010 after sitting out the entirety of last season with an ACL injury.

“I just can’t wait to be able to play again,” Haverly said. “Like, against real teams, not just ourselves.”

After the tough season the team had last year that was lowlighted by a 1-19 record in the Big Ten, senior right-side hitter Kelci Marschall said she is ready to get the jersey back on and the start the season with a clean slate.

“Every year is different,” Marschall said. “Every year presents new challenges and new strengths, and it’s a lot of fun to put it on the court and see what we can do
with it.”    

 

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