UIC Volleyball Takes Final Break From Horizon League Play
Nov. 4, 2013
CHICAGO - The UIC volleyball team (7-18) will take its final break from Horizon League play Wednesday when the Flames play at Loyola Chicago. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m. inside the Gentile Arena.
The Ramblers left the Horizon League in July and joined the Missouri Valley Conference. Loyola Chicago is 10-15 overall and 5-8 in conference play.
The Flames won both meetings with the Ramblers last season, including a four-set victory at the Gentile Arena (Oct. 12, 2012). Overall, UIC has won six consecutive matchups with Loyola Chicago.
Who: UIC at Loyola Chicago
A LOOK AT LOYOLA CHICAGO
Loyola Chicago (10-15)
UIC MATCH NOTES
LAST TIME OUT
UIC ended its road trip through Wisconsin with a 3-0 loss (25-15, 25-21, 25-15) at Milwaukee Saturday (Nov. 2). Milwaukee put down 49 kills against UIC. The Panthers hit at a .384 clip while holding the Flames to a .083 attack percentage.
STERNARD AIMS FOR 700 CAREER KILLS
Junior Sara Sternard put down 14 kills on 45 attempts last weekend. She currently ranks third in the Horizon League with a .302 attack percentage and ninth with 2.90 kills per set. During League play, Sternard ranks fifth with 3.18 kills per set.
Sternard leads UIC with 255 kills and owns 689 in her career. She passed the 600-kill mark against Milwaukee (Oct. 4). Sternard will reach the 700-kill milestone this season if she continues at her current pace of 2.90 kills per set.
Sternard (233 career total blocks) passed the 200-career block milestone against Eastern Illinois (Sept. 20) and leads the squad with 64 blocks. Sternard was named the Horizon League Offensive Player of the Week Oct. 14 and was selected to two all-tournament teams (Navy & Iowa) earlier this season.
IMRIE’S CLIMB UP THE PROGRAM RANKINGS
Senior MaryKate Imrie handed out 47 assists last weekend and owns 3,415 career assists. She needs 139 more assists to move past Carlyn Fisk (3,553 - 1988-91) into third all-time in program history.
If Imrie continues at her current pace, she will finish her career with over 3,580 assists. She ranks fourth in the Horizon League with 9.83 assists per set.
Imrie’s 65-assist performance against Marshall (Sept. 6) is the most in a single match in the Horizon League. She is tied with freshman Kara Johnson for the team lead with three double-doubles. Imrie has also been named to two all-tournament teams this season (UIC Invitational & Kent State).
GARCIA CLOSES IN ON 1,000 CAREER DIGS
Senior Justine Garcia had 11 digs last weekend and leads UIC with 292 digs this season. Garcia collected 11 straight double-digit dig performances from Sept. 14-Oct. 18.
Garcia (976 career digs) reached the 900-career dig milestone against Green Bay (Oct. 5) and will pass the 1,000-career dig mark later this season if she continues at her current pace of 3.32 digs per set. Her 3.32 digs per set currently sit ninth best in the Horizon League.
Garcia has also been UIC’s top threat from the service line as her 0.36 aces per set (32 total) ranks second in the Horizon League and 68th nationally. Garcia’s four aces against both Elon (Aug. 30) and Iowa (Sept. 14) are the League’s second best four-set performances.
JOHNSON IMPRESSES AS A FRESHMAN
Freshman Kara Johnson has been a solid offensive contributor for the Flames in her first season on campus. She has posted double-digit kills in ten matches and ranks second on UIC with 238 kills. Johnson has taken a team-high 803 swings and her 63 attempts against Marshall are the second most of any Horizon League player this season.
Johnson finished with 20 kills against Marshall, the most of any UIC player this season. She helped UIC pick up its first Horizon League victory at Cleveland State (Oct. 11) with four aces, the third highest five-set effort in the league.
The Champaign, Ill. native has compiled 187 digs, which is third best on the squad. Johnson recorded three straight double-digit dig efforts from Oct. 11-18 and owns three of UIC’s seven double-doubles.
McCOY'S RETURN TO ACTION
Junior Molly McCoy put down 15 kills on 45 attempts last weekend. McCoy missed four contests from Oct. 4-12 and returned to the lineup Oct. 18 against Wright State. Since her return, McCoy has put down 38 kills over five matches and averaged 2.71 kills per set.
McCoy owns 417 career kills and has recorded double-digit kills in ten matches, including six straight to start the season. She ranks third on the squad with 195 kills and her 2.79 kills per set are a career high.
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. McCoy had 13 kills and 11 digs against Kent State (Sept. 21) for her first career double-double.
STRUS NEARS PROGRAM’S TOP 10
Junior Maggie Strus set the program record with 600 digs last season and ranks second on the squad with 201 digs during the 2013 campaign. She led the Flames with 22 digs last weekend, including 14 against Green Bay.
Strus passed the 1,000-career dig milestone against Marshall and her 24 digs against Drake (Sept. 13) is one of the best four-set performances in the Horizon League this season.
Strus owns 1,153 career digs and needs 57 more digs to enter the program's Top 10. If Strus continues at her current pace (2.58 digs per set), she will enter her senior season with over 1,190 career digs.
HARRIS PUTS UP A BIG BLOCK
Freshman Casey Harris has been a major presence at the net for the Flames this season. She ranks second on the team with 57 total blocks in 78 sets played.
Harris had nine block assists against Cleveland State to record the Horizon League’s fourth best block performance. She helped the Flames set a season high with 12 total team blocks against the Vikings. Harris leads the squad with 25 blocks in 33 sets during League play.
FRIEL DANGEROUS AT SERVICE LINE
Redshirt sophomore Tracy Friel began the 2013 campaign with four service aces against Elon and has been one of UIC’s top servers this season. She ranks second on the squad with 21 aces.
Friel owns 12 aces over the past 14 contests. In the sweep over Binghamton (Sept. 21), she 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 178 digs.
TOP TEAM MARKS LEAD HORIZON LEAGUE
The Flames’ thrilling five-set victory over Marshall (Sept. 6) included the best offensive team performance in the Horizon League. 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 (Aug. 30), UIC recorded 13 aces against the Phoenix. The 13 aces are the most in a match by any Horizon League program this season.