PAINESVILLE, Ohio- The Lake Erie College volleyball team looks to kick off the 2017 season this weekend as they will travel to Ashland University to compete in the 2017 Quality Inn Ashland University Tournament. The Storm will take on Truman (11:30 AM) and Pitt.-Johnstown (4:00 PM) on Friday (Sept. 1). The tournament will conclude on Saturday (Sept. 2) with Lake Erie facing Urbana at 9:00 AM and the host Ashland at 2:00 PM.
"The team has been working so hard this season, and I am proud of the effort they put forth on a daily basis," said Storm head coach Kevin Foeman. We are excited to have a chance to compete against some of the best teams in the region this weekend. 3 of our 4 matches are against teams that went to the NCAA tournament last year, and the fourth team is a talented and extremely well coached Urbana squad. It will be an awesome chance for us to get better as a team and push ourselves to be our best."
Storm Report: Lake Erie is coming off the best season in program history following the switch to Division II. The Storm advanced to the GLIAC Semifinals after the first GLIAC playoff win in the history of the program. Lake Erie was 19-16 overall. The Storm returns nine players, including the team leader in the categories of kills, digs and assists. Brooke Peiffer (Lansing, Mich. / Holt) led the Storm with 348 kills. Alexis Thomas (Cincinnati, Ohio / Fairfield) led the team in assists with 1,354. Sidney Fletcher (Saline, Mich. / Saline) led the Green and White with 610 digs.
New Conference: 2017 marks as the first season with Lake Erie College joining the Great Midwest Athletic Conference. Last season, the Storm went 9-2 in matches against current GMAC teams.
"We hope this weekend helps prepare us to compete each and every match of the season. It will be a fun year transitioning into the new conference, and a great experience traveling and competing against new schools."
Preseason Polls: Lake Erie was voted as the preseason favorite in the East division. The Storm received 125 total votes and 11 first place votes in the 2017 Great Midwest Volleyball Preseason Coaches' Poll presented by Under Armour.
Series History: Lake Erie and Truman have met once before as a part of the 2016 Midwest Region Crossover with Truman winning the match. The Storm and Pitt-Johnstown have split the two matches in the series with the last meeting coming in 2015. Urbana holds a 5-1 series advantage and Ashland has been victorious in 12 of 13 matchups.
Storm Forecast: The Storm will travel to California (Pa.) next weekend for the Cal Vulcan Invitational. Lake Erie will have matches against Daemen, Fairmont State, California (Pa.) and LeMoyne-Owen.