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Niagara volleyball opens season at Blue And White Classic


NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. -- The Niagara women's volleyball team kicks off its season at the Blue and White Classic, hosted by Buffalo, Aug. 24-25. The Purple Eagles will face the Bulls (10:00 a.m.) and North Dakota State (4:00 p.m.) on Friday and Seton Hall (10:00 a.m.) on Saturday.

Preseason Praise

  • The Purple Eagles were tabbed to finish fifth in the MAAC preseason coaches' poll.
  • Sophomore middle blocker Grace Hetterscheidt was selected to the Preseason All-MAAC Team.

2017 In Review
  • Niagara finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 18-10 and a MAAC record of 14-4 and qualified for the MAAC Tournament. The second-seeded Purple Eagles fell to No. 3 Iona in the MAAC Tournament semifinals.
  • The Purple Eagles led the MAAC in total digs (1,846) and were second in the conference in kills (1,255) and assists (1,182).

Familiar Faces
  • Niagara returns six letterwinners from last year's squad; middle blocker Cameron Maris, outside hitter/defensive specialist Jaycie Roberts, defensive specialist Emillie Wright, outside hitter Caroline Leitch, middle blocker Hetterscheidt and middle blocker Jada Carrol.
  • Hetterscheidt and Roberts were both named to the MAAC All-Rookie Team following their freshman campaigns in 2017.

New Kids On The Court

Put Me In, Coach!
  • Donna Day enters her first season as head coach in 2018. She served as an assistant coach at Niagara from 2016-17.

Across the Net
  • Buffalo Bulls
    • This will be the 39th all-time meeting between the Bulls and the Purple Eagles. Buffalo leads the series, 35-3.
    • The Bulls were picked to finish third in the MAC East Division preseason coaches' poll.
    • Buffalo finished the 2017 season 15-3 overall and 8-8 in the MAC.
  • North Dakota State Bison
    • This is the first all-time meeting between Niagara and NDSU.
    • The Bison went 19-9 overall in 2017 and compiled a 9-5 Summit League record.
    • NDSU was picked sixth in the Summit League's preseason coaches' poll.
  • Seton Hall Pirates
    • This will be the third meeting between the Purple Eagles and the Pirates. Seton Hall leads the all-time series, 2-0.
    • The Pirates were tabbed fifth in the Big East's preseason coaches' poll.
    • Seton Hall finished the 2017 season with an overall record of 16-15 and went 10-8 in Big East play.

Up Next

  • The Purple Eagles will compete in the Golden Flashes Classic Aug. 31-Sept. 1. Niagara takes on Morgan State at 5:00 p.m. on Aug. 31 and Fort Wayne (2:00 p.m.) and Kent State (7:00 p.m.) on Sept.1.

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