SOUTH BEND, Ind. – The Indiana University South Bend volleyball team prepares for five matches this week, including the home-opener on Thursday, Sept. 5. The Titans begin the week welcoming Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference opponent St. Francis (Ill.) inside the Student Activities Center for a 7 p.m. start. After Thursday, IUSB heads to Livonia, Mich. to participate in the Julie Martin Memorial Classic on Friday, Sept. 6 before concluding the busy week at Siena Heights for a pair of matches on Saturday, Sept. 7.
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER: @IUSBVB
Scouting the Titans
IUSB returns seven from last year’s squad and adds two standout junior college transfers and two freshmen. The Titans began their season at the ultra-competitive Holiday Inn Express Preseason Tournament, hosted by No. 5 Viterbo. IU South Bend went 1-2, picking up its first win of the 2019 campaign against Mayville State as the Titans defeated the Comets in five sets.
IUSB Individual Leaders
Senior Samantha Hockstra tallied 49 digs in three matches for the Crimson and Cream last time out and leads all Titan players on the defensive end. The Muskegon Community College transfer is eighth all-time in program history with 669 career digs in just 134 sets and needs just four more to move past Bethany Brewer (2011-13). Senior Sydney Lubinski leads all players with 36 kills after the South Bend native recorded a game-high 23 kills in the 3-2 win over Mayville State.
Sophomore McKenzie Powell, currently fifth in career assists, has dished out 41 assists in three matches this season for IU South Bend. The Rolling Prairie, Ind. native now has 961 total assists and has appeared in just 137 sets.
IUSB Inside the SAC
The Titans are 41-33 overall at home and hold a 4-4 record in their home-openers. IU South Bend looks to extend its home-opening to win streak to four after defeating Bethel University (2016) St. Francis (Ill.) (2017) and Bethel University (2018) in the previous three seasons.
Scouting the Fighting Saints
St. Francis (Ill.) enters Thursday’s match at 2-6 overall and is riding a five-matching losing streak. The Fighting Saints are led by head coach Cara Currier, who is in her 18th season at the helm and sports a 431-286 overall record. As a team, St. Francis registers a .148 attacking percentage while holding its opponent to just a .145 percentage. Junior Taylor Valant leads all players with 75 kills as an outside hitter while sophomore Alexis Engst averages 4.55 assists per game. Defensively, junior Katie Szakacs averages 5.42 digs per game and senior Jade Livesay-Groark leads all players with 14 total blocks.
Julie Martin Memorial Classic Information
Following the home-opener, the Titans head to Livonia, Mich. to participate in the Julie Martin Memorial Classic on Friday, Sept. 6. IUSB faces two opponents who are receiving votes to be in the NAIA Top-25 Poll including host Madonna and Saint Francis (Ind.)
Julie Martin Memorial Classic | The MU Activities Center | Livonia, Mich.
Friday, Sept. 6: IU South Bend at Madonna | 3:00 p.m. | LIVE COVERAGE
Friday, Sept. 6: IU South Bend vs. Saint Francis (IN) | 5:00 p.m. | LIVE COVERAGE
Siena Heights Tri-Matches
Concluding the five-match week, IU South Bend heads to Adrian, Mich. playing two matches at Siena Heights. The Titans face Goshen College at 5:30 p.m. before facing the Saints at 7:30 p.m. LIVE STATS are available when IUSB takes on Siena Heights.
On the Horizon
After the five-match week, the Titans continue CCAC play at Robert Morris on Sept. 10 and at Governors State on Sept. 12. Both matches will take place at 8:00 p.m. (CST).