MOUNT PLEASANT – The Iowa Wesleyan College volleyball team will be the first Tiger athletics team of the school year to begin regular season play when it opens play on Friday in the St. Ambrose University Early Bird Tournament in Davenport.
IWC opens the invitational at 2 p.m. on Friday with a match against Midland Lutheran (Neb.) College. The Tigers then will face the University of St. Francis (Ill.) at 6 p.m., and then wrap up play with matches against Trinity Christian (Ill.) College and Robert Morris (Ill.) College on Saturday.
The 2009 Tiger team features just two seniors but a class of seven juniors includes a number of players with several years of experience. Five seniors have departed including libero Corrie Wagner, but five starters return from last year’s 11-18 team that finished eighth in the Midwest Collegiate Conference.
Though Wesleyan finished down in the conference standings, the team wasn’t far from a much better finish in conference. The Tigers lost in five sets to eventual regular season champion St. Ambrose and also lost in five sets to Clarke College. IWC also played tough at league power Viterbo (Wis.) University and gave Ambrose a run again in the conference tournament before bowing out in the quarterfinals.
Juniors B.J. Wagy (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) and Kendra Zimmerman (Green Bay, Wis.) both were named Honorable Mention All-MCC last year, the lone players to receive postseason honors in 2008. Wagy, a 6-0 middle hitter, was named to the honorable mention team for the second straight season, while Zimmerman, a 5-9 setter, was one of the top newcomers in the league last year as a sophomore transfer from St. Norbert (Wis.) College.
Katie Leidl (Esterhazy, Saskatchewan) joins Brittany Richardson (Benton, Ill.) as the lone seniors on this year’s team. Leidl is a three-year starter who is closing in on the school record in digs and will take over libero duties this season. Richardson is one of several reserves from last year competing for playing time in the back row this year.
Megan McVey (Fort Worth, Texas), a 5-11 sophomore, was another of the top newcomers in the MCC last year and led the team in kills and blocks as a freshman. She will team with 5-7 junior Katie Jammer (Green Bay, Wis.) at the outside hitter positions. Jammer finished just behind McVey on the team in kills last year and is a two-year starter.
Among the newcomers joining the team are 6-0 junior middle hitter Allegra Tennis (Madison, Wis.) and 5-9 junior outside hitter Brittany Janz (Tonica, Ill.). Tennis is a transfer from Indian Hills Community College in Centerville, while Janz comes to the volleyball team after playing for the IWC women’s basketball team the past two years.
The Tigers will be on the road for the first month of the season, playing in two tournaments as well as a pair of conference matches before their home opener Wednesday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. against Ashford University.
For more information regarding the IWC volleyball program or any of the Tiger athletic teams, contact sports information director Adam Glatczak (319-385-6306 phone; 319-385-6384 FAX; email@example.com e-mail) or log on to IWC's athletics web site at www.iwc.edu/athletics.