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Cougars Set to Open Season at Northern Illinois Tournament

Cougars Set to Open Season at Northern Illinois Tournament
Northern Illinois University Tournament
Aug. 29 - vs. UC Riverside, 10 a.m. 
Aug. 29 - at  Northern Illinois, 7 p.m. 
Aug. 30 - vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 11 a.m. 
FIRST SERVE: The Cougars will take the court for the first time this season at the Northern Illinois Tournament. This will be the first of four tournaments that the Cougars will compete in.
JUST THE BEGINNING: The Cougars will play both UC Riverside and Fairleig Dickinson for the first time in program history. This will only be the second meeting for SIUE and Northern Illinois. NIU has the advantage in the series, 1-0, after winning the match in Edwardsville in September of 2012. 
HOME SCHEDULE:The Cougars will play 11 home matches this season, beginning with the Cougar Classic in September. Of their 11 games, the team will play eight Ohio Valley Conference matches at home including Austin Peay, Murray State, Eastern Illinois, Jacksonville State, Tennessee Tech, Belmont, Southeast Missouri and UT Martin
RETURNERS: SIUE will return 14 players this season, while adding three. Of the returning players, junior outside hitter Rachel McDonald and redshirt-sophomore middle blocker Hope Everett, have both been named ot the preseason All-OVC volleyball team. McDonald ended the season with 316 kills and 26 aces, while also being named first-team All-OVC last season. Everett was named OVC Freshman of the Year this past season while tallining 206 kills and 83 blocks. 
NEWCOMERS: The Cougars will add three newcomers to their roster this season including Addie Sieber (Leo, Indiana), Sarah Armendariz (Fresno, California) and Nicole Kijowski (Channahon, Illinois).
AROUND THE COUNTRY: SIUE has players on the roster from nine different states: Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri and Texas.
HEAD COACH KENDALL PAULUS: Coach Paulus is in her third season as SIUE's head volleyball coach and ninth with the program. Paulus broke the school record for wins by a first-year head coach with 23 in 2017. She currently has an overall coaching record of 32-27, with a record of 21-11 in the OVC.