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Friday, Feb. 23
The Indiana Daily Student

sports volleyball

Volleyball hits court at Georgia Tech

Women's Volleyball

The IU volleyball team finished with a .500 record in 2009 but has high expectations heading into 2010 with an All-American and a Big Ten All-Freshman selection returning to the roster.

The Hoosiers lost just two players from last season to graduation, but the team returns members of a former top-25 recruiting class as sophomores as it opens play Friday at the Georgia Tech Courtyard Marriott Classic.

Senior middle blocker Ashley Benson, who became the first All-American in IU volleyball history after being named to the Third Team by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, has her goals set high for her senior season.

“Our goals are to make the NCAA tournament and finish the season over .500,” she said.

The juniors, setter Mary Chaudoin and libero Caitlin Cox, offer two more strong veteran presences.

Last year, Chaudoin led the Hoosiers with 851 assists, and Cox earned a school-record 488 digs.

The sophomore duo of outside hitter Jordan Haverly and right-side hitter Kelci Marschall also should be strong with a year of collegiate experience.

Haverly transferred from Nebraska but made an immediate impact in 2009, earning Big Ten All-Freshman honors.

The Illinois native led IU with 466 kills and placed third on the team with 276 digs.

“When Haverly is healthy, she is one of the best Big Ten players,” said IU coach
Sherry Dunbar.

Sophomore outside hitter Lindsay Enterline was added to the roster in the offseason and is expected to help the outside line.

Enterline, who played for the IU women’s basketball team during the 2008-09 season before redshirting her sophomore campaign, is the second player in as many years to play volleyball and women’s basketball at IU.

Whitney Thomas, who played for the women’s basketball team from 2004-09, joined the Hoosiers last season as a graduate student.

IU begins the weekend against one of their toughest non-conference opponents at  7 p.m. Friday at Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets received 13 votes in the AVCA Preseason Poll, ranking them No. 43 nationally.

Dunbar said the crowd at the Yellow Jackets’ O’Keefe Gymnasium could provide a nice test for her squad.  

“Georgia Tech will have a sold-out crowd, which will give us a Big Ten environment for our season opener,” she said.

The Hoosiers end the tournament Saturday with contests against the University of Alabama-Birmingham at 10:30 a.m. and Alabama A&M at 4:30 p.m.

IU has never faced Georgia Tech or UAB but beat Alabama A&M last year in the T.I.S. College Bookstore IU Invitational, winning three sets to none.

Benson said the desire to win is important as the team hits the court.

“In the preseason, I’ve seen a lot of effort, and we are going to need players that will do anything to win in the upcoming season,” she said.

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