Volleyball Welcomes Northern Illinois

Sara Sternard
Sara Sternard

Sept. 3, 2012

CHICAGO – The UIC volleyball team (2-4/0-0 Horizon) plays host to Northern Illinois (3-4/0-0 MAC) Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. (CT) inside the Flames Athletic Center.

SCOUTING THE FLAMES UIC (2-4/0-0 Horizon League) opened the 2012 season at the Colgate Classic in Hamilton, N.Y. … after falling to Syracuse in a 3-2 outcome, the Flames won back-to-back matches Saturday … UIC swept Colgate and Bryant … UIC then held its home opener in the UIC Invitational … the team fell to UT Arlington 3-1 (26-24, 25-20, 25-22, 25-23) … followed by dropping to IPFW 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-17) and 3-1 (21-15, 25-19. 25-13, 25-19) to Eastern Michigan.

SCOUTING THE HUSKIES Northern Illinois (3-4/0-0 MAC), including being 2-2 at home … MacKenzie Roddy leads the Huskies with 76 kills, followed by Meghan Romo with 74 …Northern Illinois defeated North Dakota State (3-2), Green Bay (3-1) and Nevada, 3-0 … Northern Illinois fell to Wichita State (3-2), New Mexico State (3-1), Portland State (3-0) and Pacific, 3-0.

LAST TIME OUT UIC played host to the UIC Invitational (Aug. 31-Sept. 1) … the Flames opened competition against UT Arlington, and fell 3-1 (26-24, 25-20, 25-22, 25-23) … followed by dropping to IPFW 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-17) and 3-1 (21-15, 25-19. 25-13, 25-19) to Eastern Michigan.

Josh Wielebnicki JOINS STAFF Wielebnicki joins the UIC staff after serving as an assistant coach at Evansville for two seasons … while with the Purple Aces’, he worked primarily with outside hitters, opposite hitters and defensive specialists … prior to Evansville, he was the top assistant at Western Carolina for one season … a 2008 graduate of Illinois State … he was a student manager and student assistant for the Redbirds … he also handled vice president and captain duties while playing on the men’s volleyball team … Wielebnicki played volleyball for Lewis from 2004-06 … a native of Hinsdale, Ill., he attended Hinsdale South.



STAND-OUT SAFRANEK Safranek notched her fourth Horizon League accolade as she was named to the preseason team … as a freshman, she was selected to the all-Newcomer Team … during her sophomore and junior seasons she earned all-Horizon League honors … she was also named the Horizon League “Offensive Player of the Week” on Sept. 12, 2011 … during her junior season, Safranek had 466 kills (4.40/set) … she set a career-high 33 kills on Nov. 11, 2011 against Youngstown State … she has 24 kills through the first weekend of play during this season.

PRESEASON POLL UIC was selected fourth in the preseason Horizon League poll with 29 points … Milwaukee earned the first-place spot (49 points) … Cleveland State was selected second with 43 points … Valparaiso claimed third place (36 points) … Green Bay and Loyola were selected for fifth (26 points) and sixth place (21 points), respectively … Wright State in seventh place (11 points) and Youngstown State in eighth place (nine points) rounded out the preseason poll.

WHAT IS UP NEXT The Flames travel south to Mother McAuley High School for a two-day tournament (Sept. 8-9) … in addition to UIC, DePaul, Oregon State and Penn State round out the field … there are four matches Saturday, followed by two on Sunday … Mother McAuley is the high school of head UIC coach Katie Schumacher-Cawley and assistant coach Ellen Hayes … Penn State serves as the alma mater to Schumacher-Cawley, while Hayes attended DePaul.