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Team optimistic after last year's 20-win season

Peter Cooke

Issue date: 8/28/09 Section: Sports
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The Spartans return to the volleyball court with a optimistic outlook on the upcoming season. Coming off of a 20-14 season (5-6 in the University Athletic Association) - only the schools fifth 20-win season in the program's history - the Spartans look to not only improve their winning percentage but also their standing in the excruciatingly competitive UAA. Moving up two spots from 2007 to finish fifth last year, the Spartan's are hoping that their star is still on the rise. While winning the UAA is a tremendous task with the past two national champions and preseason No. 1 Emory and No. 5 WashU atop the standings, the pack in the middle of the UAA matches up well with the Spartans.

Coach Karen Farrell continues to be optimistic after a season that propelled Case to its best finish since 2003. The fourth-year head coach stands behind her squad's daunting defense that was ranked second nationally in digs per set. Anchoring the Spartan defense is senior libero Andrea Lamont. Finishing the 2008 season with over 500 digs and an amazing dig-set ratio of nearly 5.0, Lamont's leadership in the back court will help aid in Case's rise to power. Senior Andrea Wojtowicz will captain the Spartans with experience and a strong leadership voice. Joining Lamont in the experienced backcourt are juniors Maggie Nofel and Alicia Beckett.

While Farrell's veteran defense keeps the ball in the play, it's the younger set of attackers and setters that create points for the team. Returning second-team All-UAA middle hitter Tricia McCutchan led the Spartans in kills and blocks and was nationally ranked for her 4.07 kills per set. McCutchan's fellow sophomore at the net is Rachael Suchy who tallied the team's third highest kills last season. The only upperclassman at net for Case is junior outside hitter Beth Karpinski, whose 245 kills were second and 38 blocks were second on the team.

Setters Beckett and sophomore Casey Albitz, whose speed is certain to kick up the Spartan attack, will support the midcourt. Hoping to replace graduated Julie Schaefer will be Ashley Gan who returns from a three year hiatus to return as a setter.

At a Glance

Player to Watch:Alicia Beckett, Junior, Defensive Specialist, 310 Sets, 287 Digs, Beckett will be crucial in defending and getting the ball into the hands of the attackers.
Key Games: The Spartan's schedule starts off with several tournaments on consecutive weekends. However, the two key matches for the Spartans will be weeknight games at Case against Baldwin Wallace on Sept. 16.
Outlook: If the Spartan's can grab a pair of victories at the first UAA round robin in Rochester, and split their remaining conference games at the following the round robin in the middle of October, Case will be in prime position to finish at the top of the UAA.
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In This Issue


  • A conversation with Major Jason Winterle
  • Budgeting 101 for college students
  • Can you name this place?
  • Case holds first annual Campus Security Fair
  • Case Western prepares to serve community
  • Have you heard about ACM?
  • Nursing "freshmen stimulus" provides support for incoming students, provokes unease
  • USG Briefs


  • Club sports & news
  • Fantasy Football
  • Gameday
  • Volleyball goes 3-1 at Wooster
  • Women's soccer takes two at JCU

Fun Page

  • Crossword Solution
  • Maze Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions


  • "You lie:" an old-fashioned outburst
  • Buenos Aires: most romantic city?
  • Editorial: Student groups deserve credit for programming
  • Learning to be responsible
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Letters to the Editor
  • State your case photos: What would you do with an Inamori Ethics Prize?


  • All's Well in CWRU MFA/Cleveland Playhouse production of overlooked Shakespeare classic
  • Dittrick Medical History Center reopens exhibit on history of contraception
  • Fashion for the frugal: look stylish on a budget
  • Hitting the Spot: The Antlers
  • Making breakfast work for you: getting a grip on granola
  • Nintendo DS game mixes strategy and traditional RPG elements for unique, timesaving gameplay
  • The Buzz
  • The Worst Case Scenario
  • Trail of Dead coming to Cleveland


  • Whalen becomes all-time passing leader in win over Rochester

Sex and Dating

  • Executing the first date


  • Stopped at nothing: Spartans shut out No. 21 Ohio Northern

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Andrea Wojtowicz
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