Mount Vernon Nazarene University
800 Martinsburg Rd
Mount Vernon, OH 43050
MVNU Volleyball Ready for New
Challenges in 2002
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - For the Mount Vernon Nazarene University
women's volleyball team, the 2002 season will mark the beginning
of a new era in the program's history.
Not only is the institution celebrating a name change from College
to University, the Lady Cougars will also be looking to continue
the program's successful winning tradition after graduating a
senior class (Amanda Triplett, Darcee Hoberg, Andrea Rudd, and
Deanna Stayman) that posted a program-best .845 winning percentage
(175-32) during the past four seasons. Triplett and Hoberg
finished their careers with 3,756 career kills combined as they
ranked second and third respectively in school history in that
category. Meanwhile, Rudd is the program's all-time leader in
assists with 4,286, and Stayman ranks in the top ten in six
different career categories.
"We have the potential to be a very competitive and
successful team," said MVNU head coach Paul Swanson, who is
entering his 19th season at the helm of the Lady Cougars with a
616-215 overall record (.741 winning percentage) at the school.
"We lost a great group of senior leaders from last year, and
the key will be for the returning upperclassmen to step up and
take over that role. We also feel like there are several younger
players who can step right in and compete for us now. The team's
success this year will depend on the individual improvement of all
the players over the course of the season."
MVNU returns nine letterwinners from the 2001 squad that posted a
39-8 overall record, won a share of the program's fourth straight
conference title, and finished as the NAIA Region IX runner-up for
the third year in a row.
Leading the way for the Lady Cougars will be sophomore Katey
Percival, who will run the team's attack as the starting setter.
As a freshman in 2001, Percival saw action in 125 games as the
back-up setter and averaged 4.70 assists per game while posting
201 digs. The former All-Ohioan will be backed up by sophomore
Percival will be responsible for distributing the ball to MVNU's
potent outside and middle hitters. Katie Zipf, the team's lone
senior, returns to play either spot after averaging 2.18 kills and
.86 blocks per game last year. She will be joined on the outside
by juniors Jeni Vanderhoof and Jessica Harding, sophomores Amber
Thorne and Bethany Anderson, and freshman Teresa Diefenbacher.
Vanderhoof recorded 287 digs and 57 aces in 2001, while Harding
averaged 1.85 kills and .96 blocks per game. Thorne and Anderson
each saw action as freshmen for the Lady Cougars, while
Diefenbacher was a two-time All-Conference selection at Cincinnati
Christian High School.
Junior Carrie McClelland returns to anchor the middle hitter
position for MVNU. McClelland was among the American Mideast
Conference leaders in blocks per game (1.18) a year ago while
averaging 2.63 kills per game. Junior Chelsea Knight, who had 238
kills in 2001, will also compete for time at this spot along with
incoming freshmen Amanda Stevens and Jenny Weaver. Both Stevens
and Weaver come to the Lady Cougars following outstanding high
school careers in which they were both named to the All-Ohio Team
twice - Stevens at Centerburg High School and Weaver at Central
Christian High School.
Sophomore Megan Daugherty will join Vanderhoof and Adams as likely
candidates to fill the role of the defensive specialist and in
some instances the libero - a designated back-row player who
cannot serve, attack or set inside the attack line. Daugherty
recorded 26 aces and 79 digs in her first collegiate season in
"I am really pleased with the way that the returning players
have worked hard to prepare for this year," said Swanson.
"They know that we have some big shoes to fill from last year
and that they each have an opportunity to work hard and fill that
void. The competition for playing time is going to make us a
The Lady Cougars, who received votes in the NAIA preseason poll,
will get the 2002 season under way on Thursday, August 29, when
the team plays a tri-match at Spalding (Ky.) College beginning at
6:00 p.m. against the host school with an 8:00 p.m. match against
Kentucky Wesleyan College to follow.
MVNU will participate in three invitational tournaments during the
regular-season starting with the Earlham (Ind.) College
Invitational on August 30-31 where the team will play the host
Lady Quakers, Franklin (Ind.) College, Capital University, and
Ohio Wesleyan University. The Lady Cougars will also host their
own Pizza Hut Invitational on September 13-14 with Marian (Ind.)
College, the University of Saint Francis (Ill.), Malone College,
Roberts Wesleyan (N.Y.) College, and Houghton (N.Y.) College all
slated to participate. In addition, the team will travel to the
Indiana Wesleyan University Invitational on September 20-21 to
face the host Lady Wildcats, Spring Arbor (Mich.) University,
Cedarville University, and Saint Xavier (Ill.) University.
MVNU will also look to continue its run of AMC titles as the
four-time defending conference champions look to make it five in a
row. The AMC will be divided into North and South Divisions this
year with each team playing the other schools in their division
both home and away. The Lady Cougars are in the South Division
with Walsh University, ranked #13 in the NAIA preseason poll,
Malone College, Cedarville University, Ohio Dominican University,
Shawnee State University, Urbana University, Tiffin University,
and the University of Rio Grande.
In addition to its conference matches, MVNU will also play
non-conference matches against teams such as Kenyon College, Notre
Dame College, Central State University, John Carroll University,
Shepherd (W.Va.) College, and Wheeling Jesuit (W.Va.) University,
the defending champions of the West Virginia Intercollegiate
The Lady Cougars will also look to qualify for the National
Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament for the
twelfth straight year when the team competes in the NCCAA East
Regional Tournament at Malone on October 18.
With a tough schedule ahead of them, Coach Swanson and the Lady
Cougars trust that when November rolls around the team will be
tested and ready to make a run at the program's first-ever berth
in the NAIA National Tournament after finishing one win away in
each of the past three seasons.