For Immediate Release
Volleyball -- Aug. 16, 2011
Red Devils Picked Fifth in Preseason SLIAC Poll
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Eureka College volleyball team has been picked to finish fifth in the St. Louis Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in 2011, according to a poll conducted by league head coaches earlier this month. The Red Devils will report to campus Wednesday and begin practice early Thursday morning for first-year head coach Bethany Dulle in advance of the 37th season in program history.
Eureka returns four starters, including four-year seniors Paige Fannon (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria H.S.) and Brittany Feger (Heyworth, Ill./Heyworth H.S.), from last season’s squad that put up a 9-23 overall record and a 5-11 SLIAC mark for a sixth place finish. Fannon and Feger are both within 100 kills of reaching Eureka’s all-time top-10 list and can become the first set of teammates to reach the top-10 in the same season since Lauren Sandrik and Candy Anderson in 2005. Additionally, Fannon’s 91 career solo blocks already rank 10th all-time in school history.
Junior Shari Steidinger (Forrest, Ill./Prairie Central H.S.) and sophomore Peyton McAtee (Morton, Ill./Morton H.S.) also return for Dulle after starting a majority of the Red Devils’ contests last fall. Steidinger ranked sixth in the league with 425 digs a year ago. Juniors Lindsey Hinshaw (Hudson, Ill./Normal West H.S.), Becca Idell (Toluca, Ill./Fieldcrest H.S.) and Courtney Kincaid (Green Valley H.S.) also provide significant collegiate experience for the Red Devils. Kincaid joins Fannon as the only returning players to have played in all 66 matches over the previous two seasons.
Defending SLIAC regular season and tournament champion Greenville received six of a possible nine first-place votes to be picked to repeat as league champion. Spalding was picked second with two first-place votes, Webster was chosen third and Westminster was selected to finish fourth while receiving one first-place vote. Fontbonne, Principia, MacMurray and Blackburn rounded out the final four spots in the poll. The top four teams in the final league standings, excluding NCAA Division III provisional member Spalding, will compete in the 17th annual SLIAC Tournament at the site of the regular season champion on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Eureka will open the season on Thursday, Sept. 1 with a pair of contests as part of a triangular match at the Laughlin Center in Lincoln, Ill. The Red Devils will square off against Grace Bible at 5:30 p.m. before playing host Lincoln Christian at 7:30 p.m. The 2011 home opener is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20 against league foe Blackburn at 7 p.m., the first official contest to be played on the Reagan Center’s new hardwood floor.
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