Sept. 1, 1999
KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University volleyball team (19-13, 11-7 Mid-American Conference) starts its 1999 season on Thursday (Sept. 2) playing at Jacksonville University. The Broncos continue their tour of Florida when they take part in the University of Florida's Sun Trust Invitational on Saturday and Sunday (Sept. 4-5). Western Michigan battles Nebraska and the host Gators, ranked No. 3 and No. 8 in the nation respectively, on Saturday (Sept. 4). WMU takes on the Cornhuskers at noon and plays Florida at 4 p.m. The Broncos wrap up tourney play against Iowa on Sunday (Sept. 5) at noon.
WMU returns five starters from its 1998 lineup, including Pan Am Games Training Team members Traci Morin and Mandy Whitfield. Morin was an All-MAC Honorable Mention pick last year. Junior setter Jen Nowak returns after recording the third-highest assist total in school history last year (1,293). Defensive specialist Kelly Kuharski was leading the team in digs before a knee injury ended her season. Monyka Paul turned in a solid 1998 season, filling in at several positions for the Broncos.
As the 1999 season begins, some members of the Bronco volleyball team have some personal milestones in sight.
Jacksonville: The Broncos battle the Dolphins for the first time ever on Thursday.
Florida: WMU plays Florida for the first time ever Saturday. Florida is ranked No. 8 in the Preseason Polls and was picked to win its ninth consecutive Southeastern Conference championship.
Nebraska: The Broncos and Cornhuskers have squared off five times through the years, with Nebraska holding a 4-1 advantage in the series. WMU hosted Nebraska in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Dec. 3, 1983 in front of 8,543 fans at University Arena. That crowd established an NCAA record that stood for several years.
Iowa: Western Michigan is undefeated in two career matches against the Hawkeyes. The two schools are meeting for the first time in 12 seasons. The Broncos knocked off Iowa 3-0 (15-11, 15-3, 15-4) Oct. 2, 1987 at University Arena. WMU posted a 2-0 win (15-4, 15-10) over Iowa in the 1981 Michigan State Invitational.
Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; firstname.lastname@example.org
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