Kramer starts WVU career 4-0
Volleyball team wins WVU Classic, opens season undefeated
Published: Sunday, August 29, 2010
Updated: Monday, August 30, 2010 23:08
The West Virginia volleyball team started its season off with a kill, winning the WVU Classic and starting the season a perfect 4-0.
West Virginia University President James P. Clements hailed, "Our new coach is undefeated!"
First-year head coach Jill Kramer was almost entirely perfect as the Mountaineers only lost one set all weekend.
The Mountaineers (4-0) opened the WVU Classic with a 3-0 sweep over the Howard Bison. With the scored tied at 13 in the first set, senior Lauren Evans sparked WVU on a 4-0 run after her kill. It was a lead the Mountaineers wouldn't relinquish as they won the first set 25-21 and finished off the Bison in the final two sets winning both by a score of 25-18.
Senior captain Bonnie West led the team with 20 digs against Howard as she moves closer to the WVU career lead for digs. The WVU libero accumulated 66 digs over the weekend and now trails Michelle Domas' 19-year record of 1,630 by 114.
Tournament MVP Lauren Evans finished her weekend with 38 kills.
"I couldn't have been happier with how we played, but there is always room for improvement," Evans said. "You can't complain when your team goes 4-0."
After a successful sophomore campaign that saw her finish 10th in program history for single-season assists, Kari Post went out and dished 37 assists to go with 11 digs in the opener. Post finished the weekend totaling 121 assists.
WVU faced Buffalo in the night game Saturday, and after dropping the first set 28-26, the Mountaineers recovered to win the final three sets 25-13, 25-22, and 26-24.
"I think we had a lot of mental fortitude to come through in the end and get it done with our backs against the wall," Kramer said.
Junior outside hitters Michelle Kopecky and Serinna Russo had strong performances. Kopecky finished her weekend posting 11 aces, six of which came against Buffalo and Russo finished with 36 kills and 51 digs.
The Mountaineers first game Sunday featured a date with Youngstown State. After taking an early 5-0 lead, WVU didn't look back as it never trailed. West Virginia won the three sets easily, 25-15, 25-10 and 25-18.
WVU had a balanced attack, as every active player got a chance to play. Post finished with 17 assists and freshman setter Lisa Riedel saw her first action racking up 11 assists and six digs.
Akron would be the final victim to fall to the Mountaineers as they lost the sets 25-17, 25-23 and 25-16. WVU had 46 team kills compared to the 32 put up by the Zips.
Akron and Buffalo finished the tournament with 2-1 records while Howard and Youngstown both finished 0-3.
Throughout the tournament, there was a significant crowd present that the WVU players and Kramer embraced.
"I thought the atmosphere was great, but I think my favorite was when they did the ‘Let's Go Mountaineers chant," Kramer said.
She has encouraged fans to come support her team since being named head coach earlier this month.
Kramer said that will be even more important Sept. 14 – the Mountaineers' next home game – when WVU faces in-state rival Marshall.
Last season Marshall hosted more than 1,400 fans and Kramer wants to double that at the WVU coliseum when the Thundering Herd comes to Morgantown.
"When the student body is here it just takes us to another level, so we're hopeful they'll come out for the Marshall game, because that's a big game," Kramer said.
The Mountaineers take to the road for the first time in 2010 this weekend. The team travels to Georgetown.