Niemer, Nevitt Stars Of UC Alumni Match|
Aug. 18, 2007
CINCINNATI---On a night that was billed as the past against the present of University of Cincinnati volleyball, one of the youngest players on the court stole the show in the Bearcats' annual Alumni Match, held in Fifth Third Arena. Making her collegiate debut, freshman Stephanie Niemer showed she will be a force during the 2007 season, leading her team to a four games to one victory. The current crop of Bearcats defeated the Alumni by scores of 30-22, 30-21, 30-24, 28-30, 15-8.
Playing in just four of the five games, Niemer tallied 16 kills and showed off an explosive jump serve that netted her nine aces. UC's all-American was also in mid-season form as Jessie Nevitt led all players with 18 kills in four games of action. Freshman setter Annie Fesl also did her part, handing out 67 assists in her first UC contest.
"Tonight was a fun event," UC head coach Reed Sunahara said following the match. "I thought we did a pretty good job and have some promising things to go on. But we still have a ways to go before next Friday. I think the pieces are there, we just have to put them together in the right places."
The Alumni team, which featured 18 all-conference honors between them, competed hard in all five games and actually stole game four after trailing early. The first ever UC all-American, Julie DuPont paced her squad with 12 kills and a match-high 20 digs. Becky Tenkman (12) and Leslie Newell (11) each added double figure kills. The Alumni defense was also strong as Newell and Rachel Torblaa finished with eight blocks apiece.
The Bearcats showed team balance in game one, getting kills from six different players in the 30-22 victory. Niemer put her skills on full display in game two as she buried nine kills in the 30-21 Cincinnati win.
Nevitt took her turn at showing the way in game three as her eight kills led the Bearcats to the 30-24 win. Lindsay Upton added five of her six kills for the evening in the frame.
The fourth game saw the Alumni erase an early deficit to knot the score at 13-all. Down the stretch, UC climbed back to 27-26, but the Alumni scored three of the last five to avoid the evening sweep. DuPont had five kills for the Alumni in the game, while Lindsey Peterson, Jessica Elley and Jami Torok all did the same for the Bearcats.
The current UC team dominated game five against a tiring Alumni team, winning by a 15-8 margin. Nevitt did the bulk of the work, dropping five kills, while Jenny Custer added three.
The Bearcats officially open the 2007 season next weekend, hosting the State Farm Bearcats Invitational in Fifth Third Arena. UC takes the court for the first time on Friday night, battling Southern Miss at 7:30 p.m.