The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor volleyball team will open the 2018 season on Friday, August 31st at the UT Dallas Tournament in Richardson.
UMHB was picked to win the West Division for the fourth consecutive season in the American Southwest Conference's Preseason Poll. The Cru went 28-5 last season with a 15-1 mark in conference play. UMHB also advanced to the ASC Volleyball Tournament Championship Match for the fourth consecutive season under head coach Rob Frost.
Frost returns for his eighth season after winning his fourth consecutive Coach of the Year award in 2017. He returns four all-conference athletes from that roster, led by junior setter Miranda Klein. Klein, a native of Georgetown, Texas (East View) was an AVCA Honorable Mention All-American in 2017. She also earned AVCA First Team All-West Division, ASC All-Volleyball Team and ASC First Team All-West Division. Klein led the ASC with a 2.99 kills per set average last season and ranked third in the conference with 3.45 points per set.
Haleigh Evans, Corinne Novak and Sarah Paolini also return after earning all-conference honors last season. Evans, a junior defensive specialist from Edna, Texas (Edna H.S.), was an Honorable Mention All-West selection, leading the Cru with 510 digs in 2017. Novak, a sophomore outside hitter from Georgetown, Texas (East View H.S.), is the reigning AVCA West Region Freshman of the Year and ASC West Division Freshman of the Year. She led the Cru in kills (317) and ranked second in attacks (840) and kills per set (2.91). Paolini, a junior middle hitter from Kalispell, Montana (Stillwater Christian H.S.), was an All-ASC and First Team All-West region selection a season ago. Paolini led the ASC with a .373 hitting percentage and ranked among the top three UMHB athletes in kills (269), blocks (100) and attacks (544).
The Cru will play back-to-back matches at the UT Dallas Tournament on Friday, August 31st. UMHB opens against Heidelberg at noon before facing the University of Wisconsin-Superior in a 2:30 p.m. match. UMHB opens the 2018 home slate on Tuesday, September 18th in a 6 p.m. match against Hardin-Simmons University. Continuing coverage of the 2018 season is available at cruathletics.com