IU KOKOMO VOLLEYBALL SQUAD SWEEPS RIVER STATES CONFERENCE REGULAR SEASON AND TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONSHIPS

IU Kokomo won the River States Conference Volleyball Tournament. (Courtesy of IU Kokomo)

KOKOMO, Ind – IU Kokomo claimed the River States Conference Volleyball Championship with Saturday’s 3-0 win over Brescia (Ky.) University in the final match. The Cougars extended their winning streak to 25 matches in a row and improved to 19-0 this year versus RSC competition. 

IU Kokomo had already earned a bid to the NAIA National Championship after going 16-0 RSC as conference regular-season champs. The Cougars added three wins on top of that this weekend on their home court for the tournament title.

IU Kokomo will take a record of 34-4 into the NAIA National Championship, which begins Nov. 17. Brescia (23-17) will also represent the conference at the national tournament. The Bearcats earned their bid as RSC runner-up because IU Kokomo won the regular-season and tournament title. Brescia won the final two sets to beat Asbury (Ky.) University, 3-2, in Saturday’s semifinals to earn punch their ticket to nationals.

In the first match of the day, the IU Kokomo took on IU Southeast in the semifinal round. Going the full five sets in a back and forth match, IU Kokomo was able to rally for a victory (23-25,25-21,25-16,19-25,15-11) after dropping the first and fourth set.

After a short break, IU Kokomo returned to action to sweep Brescia in the final match of the RSC tournament (25-21,25-21,25-22) to claim the RSC Championship.

Four Cougars hit over .350 on the match, including McKenna Lundy accumulating a double-double after hitting .407 with 12 kills and 14 digs. Leading the team in kills, Nyssa Baker amassed 14 kills with a .579 clip. Erinn Adam hit .389 on the day while Molly Ottersbach had a .357 hitting percent.

Defensively, Macee Rudy and Kristi Elson picked up 16 digs each, to pair with Lundy’s 14. As a team, IU Kokomo collected 11 blocks, led by Erinn Adam and Nyssa Baker.

Courtesy of IU Kokomo and River States Conference

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IU KOKOMO DOMINATES RIVER STATES CONFERENCE POST-SEASON AWARDS, TWO-TIME INCLUDING PLAYER OF THE YEAR NYSSA BAKER

All-River States Conference squad courtesy of the RSC.

KOKOMO, Ind. — The 2018 All-River States Conference Volleyball Teams & Awards were announced during an on-court ceremony on Friday at the RSC Volleyball Championship in Kokomo, Ind. 

IU Kokomo led the honorees with a conference-high three players selected to the All-RSC First Team. That included RSC Player of the Year Nyssa Baker, a sophomore middle hitter who won the award for the second year in a row. The Fort Wayne, Ind., native leads the RSC and ranks third in the NAIA with a hitting percentage of .433. She also leads the conference with 108 total blocks and ranks eighth nationally and first in the RSC with 1.19 blocks per set. 

IU Kokomo’ sixth-year head coach Heather Hayes was named RSC Coach of the Year. The Cougars are 32-4 on the year and have already locked up their fourth straight NAIA National Championship bid as RSC regular-season champions. 

IU Southeast libero Kenna Burman, a sophomore from Arcadia, Ind., was chosen as the RSC Defensive Player of the Year. She has compiled 563 digs and 4.94 digs per set to pace the Grenadiers in the back row and rank among the conference leaders on defense. 

IU Southeast right-side hitter/setter Alyssa Cosgrove was named RSC Newcomer of the Year. The junior from Louisville, Ky., and transfer from Spalding University is third in the conference in hitting percentage at .297. She is also among the RSC leaders with 308 total kills. 

IU Kokomo’s three players on the All-RSC First Team in addition to Baker included sophomore libero Macee Rudy and junior outside hitter McKenna Lundy. 

Four schools had two players each on the first team with those being Point Park (Pa.) University with Ashley Taylor (RS, Sr.) and Jordan Dixon (OH, Sr.), IU Southeast with Monica Loftus (OH, Sr.) and Alyssa Cosgrove (RS/S, Jr.), WVU Tech with Konstantina Pateli (S, Jr.) and Carolina Bologna (MH, Jr.) and Asbury (Ky.) University with Lizzy Rempel (OH, Jr.) and Laura Bird (S, Sr.)

Natalie Jones (OH, Jr.) from Brescia (Ky.) University, Breanna Kopke (RS, Jr.) from IU East and Olivia Frazier (MH, Jr.) from Cincinnati Christian represented their respective schools on the first team.

Point Park and IU East were tied for the lead with three players each on the All-RSC Second Team. IU Southeast and Brescia were next with two each. The first and second teams included 14 players each. There were eight of the 12 volleyball schools represented on each of the lists. 

Also named was the 2018 River States Conference Volleyball Champions of Character Team. One player from each school was named as the team member who best displays the five character values of NAIA Champions of Character, which are respect, responsibility, integrity, servant leadership and sportsmanship. 

2018 ALL-RIVER STATES CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL TEAMS & AWARDS

RSC Player of the Year: Nyssa Baker, Middle Hitter, So., IU Kokomo
RSC Defensive Player of the Year: Kenna Burman, Libero, So., IU Southeast
RSC Newcomer of the Year: Alyssa Cosgrove, Right-Side Hitter/Setter, Jr., IU Southeast
RSC Coach of the Year: Heather Hayes, IU Kokomo, 6th season

ALL-RIVER STATES CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL FIRST TEAM

Name Pos. Cl. School
Nyssa Baker MH So. IU Kokomo
Konstantina Pateli S Jr. WVU Tech
Monica Loftus OH Sr. IU Southeast
Natalie Jones OH Jr. Brescia
Breanna Kopke RS Jr. IU East
Lizzy Rempel OH Jr. Asbury
Ashley Taylor RS Sr. Point Park
Macee Rudy L So. IU Kokomo
Alyssa Cosgrove RS/S Jr. IU Southeast
Olivia Frazier MH Jr. Cincinnati Christian
Laura Bird S Sr. Asbury
Carolina Bologna MH Jr. WVU Tech
McKenna Lundy OH Jr. IU Kokomo
Jordan Dixon OH Sr. Point Park

ALL-RIVER STATES CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL SECOND TEAM

 

Name Pos. Cl. School
Ashlee Simpson L Fr. Midway
Morgan Dangelo L Sr. Point Park
Ana Monteiro RS Sr. WVU Tech
Kristin Logsdon L So. Brescia
Kendal Williams S Fr. IU Kokomo
Cali Topolski S Jr. IU East
Sophie Rogers MH So. IU East
Kenna Burman L So. IU Southeast
Destiny Tucker MH Sr. Point Park
Lexi Gentry OH So. IU East
Tonya Tivitt MH Jr. Brescia
Ashley Taylor OH Fr. Rio Grande
Julia Menosky S Jr. Point Park
Hannah Sipe S So. IU Southeast

RIVER STATES CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONS OF CHARACTER TEAM

 

Name School
Charis Wieschhaus Asbury
Alex Satterfield Brescia
Annamarie Boburka Carlow
Rebecca Paden Cincinnati Christian
Michelle Grider IU East
Maddie Jacobi IU Southeast
Courtney George Midway
Autumn Paugh Ohio Christian
Camryn LaMonaca Point Park
Kinnison Donaldson Rio Grande
Michaella Guyot-Polverini WVU Tech

Courtesy of the River States Conference

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KOKOMO GRAD TAYLER PERSONS TABBED AS A PRE-SEASON ALL-MAC WEST DIVISION SELECTION

Tayler Persons (Courtesy of Ball State University)

MUNCIE, Ind. — The Ball State men’s basketball team was picked to finish second in the Mid-American Conference West Division in the league’s preseason poll announced Tuesday. Senior point guard and Kokomo graduate Tayler Persons was tabbed to the Preseason All-MAC West Division Team.

The Cardinals were picked second behind Eastern Michigan by just eight total points in the vote of head coaches and media members. BSU received 11 first-place votes.

Defending league champion Buffalo was selected as the preseason favorite to win both the East Division and the conference tournament. The Bulls received all 35 first-place votes in the East.

Persons, a two-time All-MAC Second Team selection, was joined on the Preseason All-MAC West Division Team by James Thompson and Elijah Minnie from Eastern Michigan, Eugene German from Northern Illinois and Jaelan Sanford from Toledo. German, a junior, was the lone non-senior selected on either side of the league.

Persons is the only player in Ball State history to record 1,000 points and 300 assists in a two-year period. The Kokomo, Indiana, native owns 1,399 points and 416 assists for his entire career, including his freshman season at Northern Kentucky. He is the leading active assist man and second-leading active scorer in the MAC, behind only EMU’s Thompson.

Persons is part of an experienced Ball State roster that returns better than 75 percent of its scoring, rebounds and assists from last year’s squad that finished 19-13 (10-8 MAC). Among that group is another All-MAC player from last season in senior center Trey Moses.

The Cardinals will take the floor Friday at 7 p.m. for an exhibition with UIndy at Worthen Arena. The regular season opener comes Tuesday, Nov. 6 at home against Indiana State.

2018-19 MAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Poll

East Division – Points (first place votes)

  1. Buffalo – 210 (35)
  2. Miami – 127
  3. Kent State – 122 
  4. Ohio – 121 
  5. Akron – 97 
  6. Bowling Green – 58 

West Division – Points (first place votes)

  1. Eastern Michigan – 183 (17)
  2. Ball State – 175 (11)
  3. Toledo – 156 (5)
  4. Western Michigan – 81 (1)
  5. Northern Illinois – 73 
  6. Central Michigan — 67 (1)

Tournament Champion: Buffalo 25, Eastern Michigan 3, Toledo 3, Central Michigan 1, Miami 1, Northern Illinois 1, Western Michigan 1

MAC Men’s Basketball East Division Preseason All-MAC

Demajeo Wiggins, Sr., Forward, Bowling Green

C.J. Massinburg, Sr., Guard, Buffalo

Jeremy Harris, Sr., Guard, Buffalo

Nick Perkins, Sr., Forward, Buffalo

Jaylin Walker, Sr., Guard, Kent State

MAC Men’s Basketball West Division Preseason All-MAC

Tayler Persons, Sr., Guard, Ball State

James Thompson IV, Sr., Forward/Center, Eastern Michigan

Elijah Minnie, Sr., Forward, Eastern Michigan

Eugene German, Jr., Guard, Northern Illinois

Jaelan Sanford, Sr., Guard, Toledo

Courtesy of Ball State University athletics

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