CASE'S LIONS OPEN 2012 CAMPAIGN AT HENDERSON STATE TOURNAMENT
2012 Henderson State Volleyball Invitational
Duke Wells Center • Arkadelphia, Ark. • Fri., Aug. 31 and Sat., Sept. 1
A&M-Commerce (0-0) vs. Alabama Huntsville (0-0)
Friday, Aug. 31 • 2 p.m.
A&M-Commerce (0-0) vs. West Alabama (0-0)
Friday, Aug. 31 • 4 p.m.
A&M-Commerce (0-0) vs. LeMoyne-Owen (0-0)
Saturday, Sept. 1 • 12 p.m.
A&M-Commerce (0-0) at Henderson State (0-0)
Saturday, Sept. 1 • 2 p.m.
A&M-Commerce opens up the 2012 campaign on the road, heading to Arkadelphia, Ark. for the 2012 Henderson State Invitational. The Lions open up the season facing Alabama-Huntsville and West Alabama Friday, followed by a Saturday double-header against LeMoyne-Owen and host Henderson State Saturday.
2011 Results: 10-25 overall, 4-10 Gulf South Conference
Head Coach: Laura Taube (Benedictine College, 1983). 19th season at Alabama-Huntsville (379-323, .540)
• Kelsey Williams (Sr., OH): 304 kills; .226 hitting pct.; 109 digs; 80 blocks
• Angela Thurmond (Jr., MB): 263 kills; .220 hitting pct.; 84 blocks
• Stacey Sargent (Jr., OH): 201 kills; .181 hitting pct.; 27 aces; 220 digs; 52 blocks
• Kelly Wilson (Sr., S): 1,050 assists; 86 kills; .342 hitting pct.; 40 aces; 237 digs
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and Alabama-Huntsville have met four times previously with the Chargers holding a 4-0 lead in the all-time series, which began in 1996. The Lions and Chargers meet for the first time since 1998, with the last meeting a 3-0 decision for UAH, fittingly in the Henderson State Tournament.
Scouting West Alabama
2011 Results: 21-11 overall, 9-5 Gulf South Conference
Head Coach: Mike Shearer (Penn State, 1997). First season at West Alabama.
• Chanel Davis (Sr., MB): 241 kills; .321 hitting pct.; 101 blocks
• Tazra Pitts (Sr., MB): 195 kills; .207 hitting pct.; 42 aces; 99 digs; 74 blocks
• Sadie Beam (So., OH): 122 kills; .086 hitting pct.; 28 aces; 175 digs
• Chelsea Payne (So., S): 41 assists; 3 aces; 15 digs
Series Information: Friday marks the first overall meeting between A&M-Commerce and West Alabama.
2011 Results: 8-15 overall, 6-9 Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Head Coach: Julia Turner (LeMoyne-Owen, 2005). Second season at LeMoyne-Owen (8-15, .348)
• Sharita Jones (Sr., MB): 163 kills; .191 hitting pct.; 21 aces; 65 blocks
• Rachel Walton (Sr., OH): 144 kills; .119 hitting pct; 25 aces; 162 digs
• Patricia Watts (Sr., MB): 89 kills; .179 hitting pct.; 50 blocks
• Robin Bell (Sr., L): 234 digs; 13 aces
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and LeMoyne-Owen meet for the first time Saturday afternoon.
Scouting Henderson State
2011 Results: 4-26 overall, 0-14 Great American Conference
Head Coach: Rhonda Thigpen (Ouachita Baptist, 1978). 22nd season at Henderson State (467-342, .577)
• Ty Lindberg (Jr., OH): 413 kills; .151 hitting pct.; 334 digs; 49 blocks
• Sarah Williams (So., OH): 128 kills; .102 hitting pct.; 16 aces; 40 blocks
• Jessica Moss (So., MB): 113 kills; .161 hitting pct.; 98 blocks
• Lauren Ray (Sr., L): 424 digs; 33 aces
Series Information: A&M-Commerce and Henderson State meet for the 36th time in the series history, dating back to 1992. The Lady Reddies lead the all-time series 22-13, but the Lions had the upper hand in 2011, defeating Henderson State in both meetings, taking down the Lady Reddies in straight sets in both Commerce and Arkadelphia.
Case Returns For Third Season at Helm of Lions
A&M-Commerce head coach Craig Case returns for his third season at the helm of the Lions, posting a 25-32 record in Commerce and is 81-125 in his career. A&M-Commerce finished 11-17 in 2011 and 6-14 in LSC play, tying for ninth in the standings and just missing the LSC Championships. Case added a pair of assistants with outstanding credentials in the offseason as former All-American Marcie Hampton and former head coach Julia Carlo will assist Case on the sidelines.
Robertson Takes Aim at Lion Record Books
Senior Rachel Robertson gets ready for her senior campaign with a chance to make her mark on the A&M-Commerce record books. A two-time All-Lone Star Conference selection, Robertson led the conference in points per set in 2011 while ranking among the LSC leaders in kills, hitting percentage and blocks. She enters her senior season with 952 career kills, which ranks 11th all-time in program history, and is just 48 shy of becoming the eighth member of the Lion 1,000-kill club.
Experience Will Be Key For Lions in 2012
One of the bright spots heading into the 2012 season for Case is the fact that the entire starting lineup from 2011 returns to the court for A&M-Commerce. The Lions had no seniors last season as All-LSC selections Rachel Robertson and Jordan Neal return to the court for their third season together. Right side hitter Kayla Bond also is poised for a breakout year while sophomores Ezon Onditi and Breanne Snyder look to build on the success from their freshmen campaigns.
Following this weekend's trip to Arkadelphia, A&M-Commerce heads back on the road, traveling to Stephenville for the Tarleton State Tournament next weekend. The Lions will face Ouachita Baptist, Southeastern Oklahoma State, William Jewell and New Mexico Highlands in a pair of double-headers Friday and Saturday before opening up Lone Star Conference play at Incarnate Word and Texas A&M-Kingsville the following weekend.