NewsLady Cougars to Honor Four 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 four seniors on the team prior to the Lady Cougars' regular-season finale on Tuesday against Tiffin University at 7:00 p.m.
Jessi Weaver, Rachael Walpole, Katie Vipperman, and Katie Ickes have helped MVNU compile an overall record of 137-49 (.737 winning percentage) over the past four years. The Lady Cougars have won one American Mideast Conference Tournament, made four appearances in the National Christian College Athletic Association National Tournament, and finished as the NAIA Region IX Tournament runner-up twice during that span. MVNU is currently 25-13 overall with a 10-5 AMC South Division record.
Weaver, an outside hitter from Apple Creek, Ohio, has played in 42 career games over the past two seasons for the Lady Cougars. The former Central Christian High School graduate has posted 36 kills, 23 digs, 13 aces, and six blocks in her career. This season, Weaver, who will be a two-time NCCAA Scholar-Athlete and an NAIA Scholar-Athlete this season, has played in 16 games with eight kills and 10 digs.
"Jessi is one great person and player,” said MVNU head coach Paul Swanson. "The old adage ‘you are how you hang around with’ applies to Jessi. The individual players and coaches and our team as a whole are better because we ‘hang’ with Jessi.”
Walpole, a setter/outside hitter from Centerburg, Ohio, has played in 464 games for MVNU over the past three seasons. The former Centerburg High School standout has registered 929 kills, 224 blocks, 440 digs, and 51 aces. She also ranks tenth in school history with 1,246 career assists. This season, Walpole has played in 128 games and leads the team with 998 assists. She has also tallied 229 kills, 261 digs, 37 blocks, and 34 aces as she earned a spot on the NCCAA East Region Team.
"Rachael is a talented, versatile, and intelligent player,” said Swanson. "We have literally asked her to play every position during her career and she has played them all well.”
Vipperman, an outside hitter from Walhonding, Ohio, has played in 433 career games over the past four years. The former River View High School product has compiled 988 digs, 134 kills, 79 aces, and 54 blocks during her career. This season, Vipperman has posted career highs of 105 kills, 45 blocks, and 409 digs while also serving up 31 aces.
"Katie has been a solid all-around player for us,” said Swanson. "She helps us on the court with her versatile and excellent play and off the court with her Christian testimony and personality.”
Ickes, an outside hitter from Wooster, Ohio, has played in 480 games during her career over the past four seasons. The former Smithville High School star ranks sixteenth in school history with 1,112 career kills. Ickes has also recorded 223 blocks, 299 digs, 33 assists, and 14 aces during her career. This season, Ickes, who is a two-time NAIA and NCCAA Scholar-Athlete and an NCCAA East Region Honorable Mention pick in 2005, has registered 219 kills, 36 blocks, and 53 digs.
"Katie is a wonderful outside hitter, a great student, and a delightful teammate,” said Swanson. "She has really impressed us with her recovery this year from rotator cuff surgery.”
After Tuesday’s match, MVNU will shift its focus to the postseason. The Lady Cougars will compete in the 10-team NCCAA National Tournament at Northwestern (Minn.) College in St. Paul, Minnesota, starting on Thursday and Friday with two pool play matches each day.