SHU IN SEASON OPENERS
Since 1987, Seton Hall Hall is 12-14 in season openers. The Pirates fell to Buffalo in straight sets in 2011.
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS
- Appalachian State is coming off a 21-win campaign in 2011, but returns just two starters from the squad that reached the SoCon semifinals.
- Senior libero Courtney Rhein is the Mountaineers top returning player after leading the SoCon in digs per set (4.95).
- Appalachian's State's five-player recruiting class was rated the best in the SoCon by PrepVolleyball.com. They will also welcome a UMBC transfer in middle blocker Dalton Tolliver, who claimed AE Rookie of the Year honors last season.
SCOUTING THE DUKES
- James Madison finished 2011 with a 20-11 record and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
- The Dukes return five starters and their libero and were picked to finish third in the preseason CAA coaches poll.
- Senior outside hitter Natalie Abel was named to the preseason All-CAA Team after averaging 2.97 kills and 3.19 digs per set.
MANTHORPE PRESEASON ALL-BIG EAST
Sophomore Shelbey Manthorpe earned Preseason All-BIG EAST honors after an outstanding rookie season. The setter ended the season on a tear, posting 10-straight double-doubles to end 2011. Her efforts also included the first four triple-doubles in school history, which was the third highest total in the nation last year.
ONE GRAND FEAT
Last season, junior Alyssa Warren became just the eighth player in program history to post 1,000 career digs. Warren's season total of 563 digs is the most ever by a Seton Hall sophomore and stands is third highest single season total in school history, a mark previously set by Warren last year.
TO THE RIGHT
One of the biggest questions coming into the season is who will take over the right-side hitter spot with the graduation of Meghan Matusiak. Matusiak finished a brilliant career in 2011 with a team-high 414 kills and was an All-BIG EAST selection. She completed her four years at the Hall with 1,430 kills to take second place on the all-time list. SHU has tried sophomores Stacey and Shelbey Manthorpe along with freshmen Molly Grammer and Kayla Kohler at the position in the preseason.
Seton Hall was picked seventh in this year's BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Hall finished last season in a three-way tie for fourth place.