NewsLady Cougars to Honor Two Volleyball Seniors on Tuesday
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - The Mount Vernon Nazarene University women’s volleyball team will honor the two seniors on the team prior to the Lady Cougars’ regular-season finale against Urbana University at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
Jenny Dunster and Amanda Stevens have helped MVNU compile an overall record of 140-46 (.753 winning percentage) over the past four years. The Lady Cougars have won one American Mideast Conference Tournament title, participated in three National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournaments with one second-place finish in 2002, and finished as the NAIA Region IX Tournament runner-up once during that span. MVNU is currently 34-9 overall with a 10-5 AMC South Division mark. The team will make its 15th straight trip to the NCCAA National Tournament later this week.
Dunster, a middle hitter from Apple Creek, Ohio, has played in 626 games for the Lady Cougars during her four-year career. The former Central Christian High School star is MVNU’s career leader in serve attempts (2,857), and she is only the second player in school history to top 1,200 kills, 1,200 digs, and 600 blocks in a career. She currently ranks fourth in career blocks (634), ninth in career kills (1,364), and tenth in career digs (1,464).
This season, Dunster leads the team with a .343 attack percentage and is second in blocks (158) and digs (498). She has also compiled 446 kills and 33 aces. After being named to the NCCAA All-American Second Team last year, Dunster was recently selected as the 2005 NCCAA East Region Player of the Year. She is also a standout in the classroom and she was named an NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete last year.
"What a difference four years makes,” said MVNU head coach Paul Swanson. "Jenny came to MVNU as an intimidated, awkward, inconsistent freshman and she is now a confident, assertive, and very consistent person and player. We weren’t sure where to play her and tried her at many positions, and now she has become one of the best middle hitters we have ever had. Her contributions on the court are extremely valuable to us. She gives us high quality all-around play at a very difficult position to play. Her presence at the net, in the back row, and in the locker room will definitely be missed.”
"Jenny’s contributions off the court are even more important to our team,” Swanson added. "She is an excellent student, Christian, teammate, and person. Her investment in the relationships on our team will make an impact into eternity. Her Christ-like attitude in everything has made her a pleasure to coach.”
Stevens, an outside hitter from Mount Vernon, Ohio, has played in 616 career games for the Lady Cougars during her four-year career. The former Centerburg High School standout ranks second in MVNU history in digs (2,371), aces (206), and serve reception percentage (94.7), third in serve reception attempts (2,621), fourth in kills (1,860), and fifth in serve attempts (2,614). She has twice tied the school record with eight aces in a match, and she posted the best serve reception percentage in school history at 95.8 percent in 2004.
This season, Stevens leads the Lady Cougars with 582 digs and 52 aces. She also ranks second with 492 kills. An NCCAA First Team All-American in 2004, Stevens was recently named to the NCCAA East Region Team. She also joined Dunster as an NAIA and NCCAA All-America Scholar-Athlete last year, and both players are up for those honors again.
"What a difference 21 years makes,” said Swanson. "I have known Amanda her whole life, and I have loved every minute of it. She has been a great person for our program. Her influence has been far-reaching. She knows her priorities and pursues them with a passion. An outstanding student, she has always kept her academics in the right priority. As a committed Christian, she has always desired to help her teammates grow spiritually.”
"Amanda is also a great player and has always kept her team and the game in high priority,” Swanson added. "She is an excellent example of a multi-skilled player and she has no weak skills. She has always worked hard and competed with intelligence, class, and passion. Having known her so well and for so long, Amanda is like coaching my own daughter. My love and admiration of her goes very deep.”
After Tueday’s match, the Lady Cougars will travel to Northwestern (Minn.) College for the 10-team NCCAA National Tournament on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Then, MVNU will take part in the AMC Tournament next weekend at Cedarville University.