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    Sara Sternard (32 kills on 65 attempts) is hitting at a .477 clip over the last three matches
     
    Sara Sternard (32 kills on 65 attempts) is hitting at a .477 clip over the last three matches
     
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    Sept. 26, 2013

    2013 Season Statistics 
    Horizon League Statistics 
    Sternard and Garcia featured in Horizon League’s Weekly Recap 
    Video Highlights from Hawkeye Challenge (Sept. 13-14) 
    Photos from DePaul match (Sept. 25)
    2013 Prospectus

    CHICAGO - The UIC volleyball team kicks off Horizon League play at 2 p.m. Saturday as the Flames play host to Valparaiso inside the Flames Athletic Center. Valparaiso was pegged as the preseason favorite to win the Horizon League title and enters Saturday’s matchup at 11-3 overall.

    UIC (5-10) closed out pre-league play with a 3-0 home loss to DePaul Wednesday night. The Flames opened 2012 Horizon League play with a 3-1 home victory over the Crusaders (9/21/2012). UIC also eliminated Valpo from the 2012 Horizon League Championship semifinals with a come-from-behind, 3-2 victory (11/17/2012).

    THE MATCHUP

    Who: UIC vs. Valparaiso
    When: Saturday, Sept. 28 • 2 p.m. CST
    Location: Chicago, Ill. • Flames Athletic Center
    Series History: UIC leads 25-23
    Live Video (Horizon League Network): HERE
    Twitter: HERE
    Live Stats: HERE

    A LOOK AT VALPARAISO

    Valparaiso (11-3)
    Nickname: Crusaders
    Conference: Horizon League
    Head Coach: Carin Avery (12th season)
    2012 Record:  21-12 overall, 10-4 in the Horizon League (2nd)
    2013 Leader in:
    Kills - Sarah Dooms (123 kills)
    Assists – Kelsey Berrington (308 assists)
    Aces - Morganne Longoria (12 aces)
    Digs - Morganne Longoria (219 digs)
    Blocks – Ellen Vanden Berg (59 blocks)

    UIC MATCH NOTES

    LAST TIME OUT
    UIC had trouble slowing down DePaul's Vesela Zapryanova and fell 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-20) to the Blue Demons Wednesday night (Sept. 25) inside the Flames Athletic Center. Zapryanova put down 22 kills on a match-high 51 attempts and DePaul (13-0) held the UIC offense to 32 kills.

    STERNARD EFFICIENT AGAINST DEPAUL
    Junior Sara Sternard only needed 18 attempts to collect nine kills (.444 attack percentage) against DePaul. Last Saturday, Sternard did not commit an attack error at the Golden Flashes Classic as she put down 23 kills on 47 attempts (.489 attack percentage) against Binghamton and Kent State.

    Over the last three matches, Sternard is hitting at a .477 clip with 32 kills on 65 attempts and only one attack error. Her .301 attack percentage this season ranks fourth in the Horizon League. Sternard’s performance against TCU (12 kills on 22 attempts - .500 attack percentage) is the Horizon League’s seventh most efficient performance.

    Sternard is second on UIC with 150 kills and now owns 584 career kills. She reached the 500-career kill milestone against Chicago State (Sept. 7).

    Sternard passed the 200-career total block milestone against Eastern Illinois (Sept. 20) and has collected 15 total blocks over the past four matches. She leads the squad with 44 blocks this season. Sternard was also named to two all-tournament teams (Navy & Iowa) earlier this season.

    IMRIE SET TO JUMP TWO SPOTS IN PROGRAM RANKINGS
    Senior MaryKate Imrie dished out 26 assists on UIC’s 32 kills against DePaul. Imrie now owns 3,125 career assists and needs 35 more assists to jump two spots in UIC’s all-time rankings. Imrie will pass Eva Svoboda (3,156 - 1992-95) and Jessica Dalke (3,159 - 2008-11) to move into fifth all-time in program history. If Imrie continues at her current pace, she will finish her career third in program history with over 3,800 assists.

    Imrie leads the Horizon League and ranks 55th nationally with 10.45 assists per set. Imrie’s 65-assist performance against Marshall (Sept. 6) is the most in a single match in the Horizon League this season. In the four-set win over Drake (Sept. 13), Imrie collected 50 assists and three total blocks. Imrie has also been named to two all-tournament teams this season (UIC Invitational & Kent State).

    JOHNSON IMPRESSES IN PRE-LEAGUE PLAY
    Freshman Kara Johnson was a major offensive contributor for the Flames in pre-league play. She has posted double-digit kills in nine of 15 matches and leads UIC with 175 kills this season.

    Johnson has taken a team-high 549 swings and her 63 attempts against Marshall are the most of any Horizon League player this season. Johnson’s 3.18 kills per set rank fifth in the Horizon League and third amongst all Horizon League freshmen.

    Johnson finished with 20 kills against Marshall, the most of any UIC player this season and the third highest Horizon League effort. The Champaign, Ill. native has also compiled 115 digs, which is third best on UIC. Johnson owns three of UIC’s five double-doubles this season. 

    GARCIA CLOSES IN ON 1,000 CAREER DIGS
    Senior Justine Garcia collected a team-high 13 digs against DePaul and leads UIC with 177 digs this season. Garcia has recorded five consecutive double-digit dig performances, including 18 against Kent State which is one off her season high of 19 (vs. Elon, Aug. 30).

    Garcia currently owns 861 career digs and will pass the 1,000-career dig milestone later this season if she continues at her current pace of 3.22 digs per set. Her 3.22 digs per set currently sits tenth best in the Horizon League.

    Garcia has also been UIC’s top threat from the service line as her 0.33 aces per set (18 total) ranks second in the Horizon League. Garcia’s four service aces against both Elon and Iowa (Sept. 14) rank as the Horizon League’s second best performance.

    MCCOY'S DOUBLE-DOUBLE AGAINST KENT STATE
    Junior Molly McCoy put down 13 kills on 31 attempts against Kent State (Sept. 21) and also collected 11 digs for her first double-double of the 2013 season. McCoy’s double-double is the fifth for UIC this season and first since Sept. 7 (Kara Johnson vs. Chicago State).

    McCoy has recorded double-digit kills in ten of UIC’s 15 matches this season. She ranks second on the squad with 150 kills and her 2.88 kills per set sit seventh in the Horizon League.

    In the five-set win over Marshall, McCoy set a new career high with 19 kills on 35 attempts for a stellar .429 attack percentage. The performance ranks as the fourth highest kill total in the Horizon League this season. McCoy owns 374 career kills and will pass the 500-career kill milestone late in the season if she continues at her current pace.

    STRUS PASSES 1,000-CAREER DIG MILESTONE
    Junior Maggie Strus set the program record with 600 digs last season and ranks second on UIC with 129 digs during the 2013 campaign. Strus passed the 1,000-career dig milestone against Marshall and her 24 digs against Drake is one of the best four-set performances in the Horizon League this season.

    Strus owns 1,081 career digs and needs 129 more digs to enter the program's Top 10. If Strus continues on her current pace (2.87 digs per set), she will finish the season with over 1,250 career digs and rank sixth in program history entering her senior season.

    FRIEL DANGEROUS AT SERVICE LINE
    Sophomore Tracy Friel began the 2013 campaign with four service aces against Elon and has been one of the Horizon League’s top servers this season. Friel currently owns 14 aces and ranks eighth in the Horizon League with 0.25 aces per set.

    Friel has been strong as of late as she has collected five aces over the past four matches. In the sweep over Binghamton (Sept. 21), Friel had one ace in the first set and two in the dominating third set victory. Friel has also been a major contributor on the backline as she ranks fourth on the squad with 110 digs.

    HARRIS PUTS UP A BIG BLOCK
    Freshman Casey Harris has been steadily improving her offensive output this season and has 25 kills over the past four matches. Harris put down a season-high nine kills on only 18 attempts (.444 attack percentage) in the sweep over Binghamton.

    Harris has also been a major presence at the net for the Flames as she ranks second on the team with 32 total blocks in 45 sets played. Harris had two solo blocks and four block assists against Binghamton to record the Horizon League’s second best three-set block performance. 

    TOP TEAM MARKS LEAD HORIZON LEAGUE
    The Flames’ thrilling five-set victory over Marshall included the best offensive team performance in the Horizon League this season. UIC collected 73 assists on 76 kills, which are both high team marks in the League’s statistics.

    In the season-opening victory over Elon, UIC recorded 13 aces against the Phoenix. The 13 aces are the most in a match by any Horizon League program this season.

    --UIC--