Volleyball Picks Up Victory In Season-Opener

Senior Lara Clarkson recorded a career-high 16 kills and 23 digs against Sacramento State.
Senior Lara Clarkson recorded a career-high 16 kills and 23 digs against Sacramento State.

Aug. 30, 2002

Box Score

Huntsville, Tex. - University of Illinois at Chicago volleyball coach Don August knew that the Flames' season-opener against Sacramento State at the Sam Houston State Invitational would be a tough one.

After all, the Hornets had won four out of the last Big Sky titles and were selected as the Big Sky preseason favorites.

None of that seemed to matter to the Flames as they defeated Sacramento State, 30-26, 31-29, 30-24 at the Bernard G. Johnson Coliseum on Friday afternoon.

"I was very pleased with the performance," August said. "We were composed, our serving was aggressive and our passing was good.

"We'll just keep getting better from here."

Senior Lara Clarkson led the way for UIC (1-0) with a career-high 16 kills and 23 digs. The Flames also received solid performances from juniors Lindsey Filkins (13 kills, 21 digs), Teaha Shepperd (10 kills, 11 digs) and Meghan Keck (45 assists, 10 digs).

August cited Keck's outside sets as the key to Clarkson and Filkins' success on Friday afternoon.

"Meghan was a little nervous and a little tight at the outset," August said. "Once she settled down, she really helped Lara and Lindsey."

Defense proved to be the difference for UIC as the Flames outdug Sacramento State, 85-68. Five different UIC players turned in double-digit dig performances including: Clarkson, Filkins, Shepperd, Keck and sophomore Jordan Studzinski (14 digs).

Sacramento State outside hitter Jayme Wright led the Hornets with 13 kills and 12 digs, while Kazmiera Imrie (11 kills) and Olivia Thomas (22 digs) each turned in impressive efforts.

UIC will be back in action tonight at 7:00 p.m. as they will take on the host Sam Houston State Bearkats.