After finishing the Missouri S&T “Middle of Everywhere” Classic as the only undefeated team in the ten-team field, the No. 3 Truman Bulldog squad looks to continue its perfect start to the season this weekend at the UNK Fall Classic in Kearney, Nebraska.
The Bulldogs will play three regional squads (by virtue of states bordering Missouri) as well as the University of Mary (N.D.). Truman will open with the Mary Marauders (0-4) on Friday afternoon before the much-awaited showdown with the host Lopers that evening.
Nebraska-Kearney and Truman have a limited history - having met only six times - but the past two have been on the largest stage, as the squads traded victories in the National Tournament in 2004 and 2005. The Bulldogs and Lopers were each undefeated when they met in the 2004 National Semifinals before Truman advanced to the Championship with a 3-0 win. UNK returned the favor in 2005, eliminating Truman from the post-season in the Elite Eight – a match played on Kearney’s home court in front of nearly 4,500 fans.
This season’s showdown will once again see both teams in the top-25, as the Lopers hold the No. 13 ranking in the CBS College Sports Network/AVCA Coaches Poll after going 3-1 in their opening weekend.
Truman will bounce back Saturday with two more matches, taking on Upper Iowa (3-1) for the first time in school history before wrapping up the trip with a match against Chadron (Neb.) State. The CSC Eagles are 2-3 on the season.
Head Coach Jason Skoch:
Jason Skoch is in his fourth year as head coach of the Bulldog volleyball program. He has compiled a 108-14 (.885) overall record and has a 38-4 (.905) mark in MIAA contests.
Skoch previously served as an assistant coach at Mississippi State as well as Central Oklahoma. He has had five different players attain AVCA All-American status and has reached the NCAA postseason in all three years at the helm. The Bulldogs have held on to a top-10 spot in the CBS College Sports Network/
AVCA Division II Coaches Poll throughout Skoch’s tenure at Truman.
He is assisted by Ben Briney, who is also beginning his fourth season at Truman.
Last Time Out:
Aug. 29 - Truman def. Mo.-St. Louis 3-2 (18-25, -23, -10, 23-25, 15-12)
Aug. 29 - Truman def. #6 Grand Valley State 3-0 (-22, -18, -16)
Aug. 30 - Truman def. North Alabama 3-2 (24-26, -7, 24-26, -16, 15-9)
Aug. 30 - Truman def. Missouri S&T 3-0 (-15. -21, -22)
Boehler Receives Player of the Week Accolades:
Defensive Specialist Whitney Boehler was selected as MIAA “Specialist of the Week” for the week of play ending August 31. She received the honor for the first time in her career.
Boehler, a 5-10 senior from Olathe, Kan., received the award after averaging 4.75 digs per set as the No. 3-ranked Bulldogs went 4-0 at the Missouri S&T “Middle of Everywhere Classic” last weekend.
She had 25 digs in a five-set season-opening win Friday (Aug. 29) against Missouri-St. Louis, while adding one ace. In a sweep of No. 6 Grand Valley (Mich.) State later in the day, Boehler had 11 digs and two aces.
The next day, she had 23 digs in a 3-2 win over North Alabama. It was Boehler's 20th 20-dig match of her career, leaving her one shy of matching Neely Forbes’ career school record of 21. She ended the tournament with 17 digs, an ace and a kill in a sweep of the host Lady Miners.
Boehler & Cherven Named to Missouri S&T All-Tourney Team:
Senior defensive specialist Whitney Boehler and senior middle blocker Allie Cherven were named to the all-tournament team for their efforts at the Missouri S&T “Middle of Everywhere” Classic last weekend.
Boehler’s stats can be viewed above, while Cherven had a team-high 33 kills and 27 blocks (1.69/set) for the Bulldogs. She played in all 16 sets and recorded a .260 hitting percentage.
Truman vs. University of Mary (First Meeting).
Truman vs. Nebraska-Kearney (UNK leads series 3-2-1):
Last meeting: December 1, 2005 in Kearney, Neb.
Nebraska-Kearney won 3-1 (30-25, 30-28, 30-32, 30-27)
Truman vs. Upper Iowa (First Meeting).
Truman vs. Chadron (Neb.) State (Truman leads series 1-0):
Last meeting: October 18, 1987 in Denver, Colo.
Truman won 2-0 (15-8, 15-1)
Media Guide Now Available:
The 2008 Truman Volleyball media guide is now available for free online viewing or for purchase through the Truman Athletics Web site. The 2008 guide features information on this year’s squad (including bios and opponents), a recap of 2007 as well as program history, records and all-time scores.
Truman will complete their three-tournament stretch to start the season next weekend in St. Paul, Minn., at the Concordia-St. Paul Classic. The Bulldogs will see two ranked squads, as both No. 16 Southwest Minnesota State and the defending national champions Concordia (No. 3 in 2008) are on the slate.