WMU News

Volleyball season opens with 'Meet the Team' reception and 'Bronco Spike-Tacular' tournament

August 27, 1998

KALAMAZOO -- Opening night for the 1998 Bronco volleyball campaign, Sept. 1, will feature a contest versus Chicago State followed by a "Meet the Team" reception. It is a busy opening week for the Broncos, who host the "Bronco Spike-Tacular," Sept. 4-5, and will face four opponents in two days, including Kansas and Auburn.

Volleyball versus Chicago State begins at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 1, at University Arena. The "Meet the Team" reception will be held immediately following the contest and is open to everyone attending the opening night contest. Refreshments will be served and players will be available for autographs.

On Friday, Sept 4, WMU will play Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) at 2:30 p.m. and Kansas beginning at 7:30 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 5, the Broncos will face Wisconsin-Green Bay at 2:30 p.m. and Auburn beginning at 7:30 p.m. All contests are part of the "Bronco Spike-Tacular" tournament and will be played at University Arena. Other tournament contests, not involving WMU, begin at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 and 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Coach Cathy George returns five starters among six letter winners from a 1997 team that compiled a 9-7 mark in the Mid-American Conference and advanced to the MAC tournament for the first time since 1992.

Heading the returning letter winners this season is third-year middle blocker Traci Morin, an All-MAC second team selection in 1997. Senior outside hitter Stephanie Rotunno was an all-conference honorable mention selection, while second-year outside hitter Monyka Paul was named to the league's freshman team last season.

The other returning regulars are junior outside hitter Mandy Whitfield, who led WMU in kills with 426, and sophomore defensive specialist Kelly Kuharski. The other returning letter winner is senior middle blocker Andrea Cole.

The early season home schedule also includes a tournament Sept. 18-19 featuring Western Illinois, West Virginia and Iowa State. The Broncos open their MAC schedule at Northern Illinois on Wednesday, Sept. 23.

Coach Cathy George is entering her fifth season at WMU. She directed nationally prominent programs at the University of Texas-Arlington and North Dakota State University before arriving in Kalamazoo. She was the first female head coach to lead a team to the NCAA Final Four (Texas-Arlington in 1989), and she was named national "coach of the year" in NCAA Division II in 1988 while at North Dakota State.

Media contact: John Beatty; 616 387-4138; john.beatty@wmich.edu

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