A key regional weekend awaits the 15th-ranked Truman volleyball squad this Friday and Saturday, as the Bulldogs take their 10-match winning streak to Aurora, Ill., for the annual GLVC/GLIAC Crossover event. Truman (16-5, 10-1 GLVC) will face three of the top five programs out of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, the other league in the Midwest region to earn an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament for its conference champion.
The Bulldogs â?? seeded as the No. 2 team out of the GLVC, will face 17th ranked Grand Valley (Mich.) State on Friday (Oct. 25) at 2:30 pm to open the three-match event.
Truman will then take on Ashland (Ohio) at 10:00 am on Saturday (Oct. 26) before capping the event later that day against Northern Michigan at 4:00 pm. All 16 schools from both conferences participate in the annual event, held at the Great Lakes Center in Aurora.
Eight courts will play at the same time, with three matches per day scheduled on each court.
The top eight schools seeded by conference record from each league will compete in one "pool", while the bottom eight schools will compete in a second "pool".
Pre-determined opponent matrices were completed before the event, meaning the Bulldogs are set to face the No. 1 (NMU), No. 3 (GVSU), and No. 5 (AU) seeds from the GLIAC. This year marks the sixth straight season of one of the largest in-season tournaments in the nation. The Bulldogs played just twice last week, picking up a pair of 3-0 home sweeps against GLVC West division mates Missouri S&T and Drury. Truman hit .227 as a team, averaging 13.2 kills, 17.3 digs, and 1.8 blocks per set in the six total sets, while holding the Miners and Panthers to a combined .125 mark with 10.8 kills, 15.7 digs, and 1.3 blocks per set. Allie Brak led the squad offensively by averaging 4.17 kills per set, hitting .250 and adding 3.33 digs per set.
Ali Patterson added 2.83 kills and 1.00 blocks per set, while Abby Heise totaled 17.5 points with 12 kills, three aces and five block assists in the two matches.
Meghan Zimmerman handed out 67 assists (11.17/set) and chipped in 2.83 digs per set, with Abby Moser taking home back line honors with 30 digs (5.00/set). On the season, the Bulldogs are averaging 13.1 kills per set and are hitting .226 as a team, compared to just 12.0 kills per set and a .167 hitting line for their opponents.
Truman is also blocking 2.20 attempts per set and has dealt 115 aces to just 77 for opponents. Ben Briney is in his fifth season as the program's head coach and has a career record of 112-47 (.704).