Volleyball Opens at Oklahoma Nike Invitational
The Broncos will return to the court for the 2012 season this weekend when they travel to the Nike Oklahoma Invitational in Norman. The Broncos are coming off their second NCAA Tournament appearance in seven seasons under Colleen Munson.
This Week's History Lesson
This will be the Broncos' first-ever trip to Norman, Okla., though it will not be the first time the Broncos have ever taken on the Sooners; WMU is a 2-1 all time against Oklahoma, with both wins coming at University Arena. The last time the teams met was in 1992, when the Broncos defeated the Sooners 3-0; in fact, all three matches in the series have ended in sweeps.
The Broncos' record with Missouri State has not been so kind, though; this will be the third meeting between the teams, with the Bears holding a 3-0 advantage. This will be the first time the Broncos and Bears have played each other in 30 years, with the last meeting coming in 1982.
The only "new" opponent the Broncos will face this weekend is Tulsa; the Broncos and Golden Hurricane have never played one another before.
Broncos Named Preseason MAC Favorite
In a release earlier this week, it was announced that the Broncos were named the preseason favorites in the MAC West division, drawing 10 first-place votes in the preseason coaches' poll. It was also announced that WMU was named the preseason favorite to win both the MAC regular season and tournament championships.
Brown, Norris Named Preseason All-MAC West
In addition to the prediction that the Broncos would win the conference, it was also announced earlier this week that senior Jessica Brown (middle blocker) and redshirt sophomore Terin Norris (setter) were named Preseason All-MAC West.
Norris Named MAC Freshman of the Year
Setter Terin Norris was named the MAC Freshman of the Year in 2011, making her the fifth recipient of the award and second under head coach Colleen Munson. Norris figures to be one of the top returning setters in the MAC in 2012, having ranked second in the conference assists last year.
Broncos Return Three All-MAC Selections
The Broncos return a trio of players who earned First Team All-MAC status in 2011: setter Terin Norris, the reigning MAC Freshman of the Year; libero Lena Oliver, who set a school record with 700 digs in 2011; and senior middle blocker Jessica Brown, who ranks among Western Michigan's all-time leaders in kills.
Brown Climbing the Charts
Jessica Brown currently ranks 14th in Western Michigan history with 1,141 career kills, one of only 19 players in the program's annals to top 1,000 kills. Should Brown reach her three-year average of 380 kills in 2012, she'll finish her career with 1,521 career kills; that number would rank second in program history, behind just Michelle Moore's 1,919 kills recorded between 2006-09.
Munson Reaches 150 As A Bronco
With the Broncos' 3-1 win over Bowling Green in 2011, Colleen Munson became just the third coach in program history to lead the Broncos to 150 wins, joining Rob Buck and Cathy George. Munson's all-time winning percentage at Western Michigan (.732) ranks behind only Buck's mark (.875) all-time.