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by: David S. Williams
Volleyball Heads To Norfolk for Spartan Classic
Courtesy: Stetson University  
Release:  09/06/2012
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With a quarter of the regular season already in the books, the Stetson volleyball team will travel to Norfolk, Va. this weekend to compete in the NSU Spartan Classic hosted by Norfolk State University.

The Hatters (2-7) will play three matches within a 24-hour span, beginning with a contest against UNC Wilmington (4-3) at Noon on Friday.  Stetson will return to the court Friday night to face Norfolk State (2-5) at 7:30 p.m.  The Hatters will conclude the tournament against Rutgers (7-1) at 10 a.m. Saturday morning.

On the Web
Norfolk State will be providing live stats and live video for every game of the tournament.  The video streaming does require a subscription; please see the NSU website for more information.

Fans can also get in-game twitter updates of Stetson volleyball matches all season long by following @StetsonVB from your twitter account.  Postgame recaps and statistics will be available on the Stetson Athletics website at

Stetson vs. the Opponents All-Time
Record vs. UNC Wilmington: 1-1 (first meeting since 1999)
Record vs. Norfolk State: 0-0 (first meeting)
Record vs. Rutgers: 0-0 (first meeting)

Third of Four
This weekend marks Stetson's third of four tournaments the Hatters will participate in this season.  Next weekend Stetson will play at the Charleston Southern Invitational in Charleston, S.C..

Close Sets
Stetson has lost six sets by the minimum margin of two points, including two winner-take-all fifth sets.  However, Stetson was able to win two "close" sets against Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday en route to the 3-0 win.  Overall, the Hatters are 4-6 in sets decided by two points.

"Tuesday's win over Bethune-Cookman was huge for us to get some confidence and believe we can win those close games," head coach Tim Loesch said.  "Hopefully that will carry over for us this weekend."

A Wild Set
Stetson's 32-30 win in the first set against Bethune-Cookman was the Hatters' longest set in the 25-point rally-scoring era, dating back to the 2008 season.  The match was tied eight times between 23-23 and 30-30, with Stetson owning set point five times and Bethune-Cookman owning set point twice.

Strong Starts
The Hatters are now 6-3 in first sets this year.

Battling Back
Against Bethune-Cookman, the Hatters rallied from a nine-point deficit in set one and erased an eight-point disadvantage in set three.  Previously, the largest deficit the Hatters had rallied from to win a set this year was a four-point disadvantage against FAU.

Career Highs
A few Hatters set or equaled their single-game career highs against Bethune-Cookman on Tuesday.  Junior Ellen Hawks set a career-high with 14 kills, Kaley Melville tied a career-high with 19 digs, and Morgan Pautsch set a career-high with six kills.

A-Sun Statistical Rankings
The Hatters 1.81 team blocks per set ranks third in the A-Sun.  Monique Russell leads the A-Sun with 164 digs, and ranks fourth in digs per set (4.69).

All-Time Digs Record
Russell now ranks second in school history with 1103 career digs.  She needs 185 more digs to set the school record, which is held my Melissa Roy (1287 digs, 1994-97)

Up Next - Rematch
Stetson returns home play a rematch against Florida Atlantic at 5:30 pm on Tuesday.  The Hatters and Owls played a five-set thriller on Aug. 31 in the Clarion Classic, and the two teams also went five sets last year in Daytona Beach.  FAU won both matches.

Stetson Volleyball