The Viking Report (Aug. 29)
Aug. 31, 2005
Contact: Brian McCann
Three Teams In Action As Athletic Year Kicks Off. . .
The 2005-06 athletic year kicks into high gear this week when three fall sports take to the road for multiple road contests.
The volleyball team, which opened its season with a heart-breaking five game loss to Toledo last week, will play three matches at the Duquesne Invitational in Pittsburgh, Pa. CSU will square off with Rider on Friday (Sept. 2) before playing back-to-back matches against St. Francis (PA) at 1:30 p.m. and host Duquesne at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 3).
The men's soccer team will also face tournament action this weekend at the Buffalo Invitational, playing road matches at Canisius on Friday (Sept. 2) and at Buffalo on Sunday (Sept. 4).
The women's soccer team continues its season-opening four match road swing with a Friday afternoon match at St. Francis (PA). The Vikings, who opened the season by dropping a 2-1 decision at Kent State on Sunday, then close the week with a Sunday (Sept. 4) match at Ohio University.
Volleyball Travels To Pittsburgh For Duquesne Invitational. . .
A week after playing its earliest season opener ever, the volleyball team will travel to Pittsburgh this weekend for the Duquesne Invitational. The Vikings will square off against Rider on Friday, Sept. 2, followed by matches with St. Francis (Pa.) and the host Dukes on Saturday (Sept. 3).This marks CSU's first appearance in the tournament since posting a 1-1 mark in 1996.
"I'm looking for one thing this week, and that's continued improvement," head coach Chuck Voss noted. "I thought we played fairly well against Toledo, but there are definitely some things we need to work on, most importantly being more efficient offensively."
The Vikings dropped a five-game decision to Toledo on Aug. 26 in the season opener for both squads. CSU rallied from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits to force the deciding final frame. However, the Rockets jumped out to a 4-0 lead and never let the Vikings get closer than two points in claiming the fifth game 15-9. Senior opposite Nickole Kennedy paced CSU with 16 kills and eight blocks, while senior outside hitter Jenna Maddocks tallied a double-double with 15 kills and 16 digs.
Men's Soccer Opens 2005 Season At Buffalo Fall Classic. . .
The Vikings begin the 52nd year of soccer when they travel to Buffalo, N.Y. and take part in the Buffalo Fall Classic. Cleveland State will meet Canisius for the first time since 2000 on Friday (Sept. 2) at 5:00 p.m. and will finish off the weekend with a match against host Buffalo on Sunday (Sept. 4) at 1:00 p.m.
The youth of the Vikings will definitely play a large role in the success of the squad as the CSU roster features 13 first-year players, nine of whom started in each of the two exhibition matches this year. The Vikings played well during their exhibition contests, tying Ashland, 1-1 on Aug. 18 and falling to Pittsburgh, 4-3, on Aug. 23.
"The players had two very good exhibitions and are anxious to get the season started," head coach Pete Curtis said. "We have a lot of new players this season who are going to bring different things to the table."
Women's Soccer Plays At Both St. Francis (PA) & Ohio University. . .
The CSU women's soccer team continues its season-opening four match road swing with a pair of contests against regional opponents. The Vikings open the week with a 3:00 p.m. match at St. Francis (PA) on Friday (Sept. 2) in Loretto, Pa. CSU finishes the week with a 1:00 p.m. contest at Ohio University on Sunday (Sept. 4).
Cleveland State showed how much it has improved since their inaugural season a year ago, opening the 2005 campaign last week with a 2-1 loss at Kent State, a team that is predicted to win its third straight Mid-American Conference title. Last year, the Vikings lost to the Golden Flashes, 4-0.
The Vikings opened the Kent State match on a high note as freshman Ashley Walchack headed home a corner kick from Abbie Kakias to give CSU a 1-0 lead just 9:33 into the contest. The goal marked the first time in the 21-match program history that the Vikings led a match. Last year, CSU did not score its first goal until the 899th minute of the season -- the 89th minute of the 10th match.
"As disapointing as it was to lose to Kent State, it was another example of how far this program has come in the last year," head coach Derrek Falor said. "We are light years ahead of last year. We came out of the locker room and did a nice job of controlling play at midfield and applying offensive pressure. If we are able to play like that all season and continue to improve, then we should have a very good year."
Viking High Fives
Joe Jaketic: After 34 years as equipment manager, he takes on additional duties as cross country coach this year and appears to have one of the best lineups in recent memory.
Ashley Walchack: The Viking freshman has added some much-needed offensive punch to the women's soccer team, scoring two goals and adding an assist in the three matches this year.
Nickole Kennedy: A first team all-league selection last season, the senior opposite opened the year by hitting .324 with 16 kills and eight blocks, both team highs.
Alisa Hatcher: After missing all of last season and part of 2003 with a rare injury, the senior libero returned to the volleyball court against Toledo on Friday, recording 17 digs.
Abbie Kakias: Made her Viking debut a memorable one, assisting on the only goal in the women's soccer opener at Kent State. Kakias missed the entire 2004 season following knee surgery.
The Week Ahead For The Vikings
Sept. 2 (Friday)
Volleyball vs. Rider at Duquesne Invite
Women's Soccer at St. Francis (PA)
Sept. 3 (Saturday)
Volleyball vs. Duquesne at Duqesne Invite
Sept. 4 (Sunday)
Women's Soccer at Ohio