Volleyball Opens 2014 Season with Inaugural Queen City Classic|
Aug. 28, 2014
CINCINNATI - The University of Cincinnati volleyball team is set to open the 2014 season by hosting the inaugural Queen City Classic Aug. 29 and 30. The Bearcats host alongside crosstown rival Xavier and will welcome Duquesne and UC Irvine to southwest Ohio.
Fifth Third Arena, home to the Bearcats volleyball team since 1989, has seen 298 UC matches played on its court and Saturday's contest against UC Irvine will represent its 300th Cincinnati volleyball match. Overall, the Bearcats have a 213-85 (.715) record within their home venue, making it the ultimate home court advantage for Cincinnati.
The Bearcats return seven players from last year's squad, including the top three leaders in kills Ciara Hill (Bolingbrook, Ill./Bolingbrook), Me'Ashah Nicholson (Shiloh, Ill./Bellevills Althoff) and Morgan Allred (Carrolton, Texas/Hebron). Additionally, seniors Nicholson, Jamie Netisingha (Westmont, Ill./Hinsdale Central) and Madi Lang (Commerce Township, Mich./Florida Atlantic) look to lead the team after earning three years of prior experience.
Head Coach Molly Alvey brought in nine new players in the offseason, including six freshmen and three transfers. Juniors Caitlin Ogletree (Montgomery, Texas/Houston) and Emma Roberson (Brooke, Ky./Evansville) and sophomore Lindsey Dinkelacker (Cincinnati, Ohio/St. Louis) should all factor heavily into the UC game plan.
The Bearcats have matched up with the Dukes six times in school history and are 5-1 in the series. The lone DU victory occurred last season, a 3-1 decision at the Spartan Invitational.
Duquesne, the reigning Atlantic-10 Champion, was picked to defend its title in the league's preseason coaches poll. It returns key members of the championship team including A-10 Setter of the Year Mary Henry and first team All-Conference selection Arielle Love.
This will be the first meeting between the Bearcats and the Anteaters.
The Bearcats have a storied history against the Musketeers and have earned a 21-10 overall record against their crosstown rival. UC leads the series in overall wins but dropped two consecutive decisions in 2012 and 2013.
Xavier was selected to finish third in the BIG EAST and saw Abbey Bessler, Alex Blair and Aubree Smith named preseason All-Conference. Bessler, a freshman in 2013, was named AVCA All-America honorable mention and was a first team All-BIG EAST pick last season.
Season tickets for all 15 home matches can be purchased for as little $10. For more information, visit