For the second consecutive season, the Embry-Riddle volleyball team will start its season at a tournament hosted by a Golden State Athletic Conference school. The Eagles will play in the OUAZ Invitational for the second year in a row, and will play four matches at Faith Arena in Surprise.
The Eagles return to the same place it played in the national tournament last season, and will be eager to get another year under way. Embry-Riddle won the Cal Pac tournament, and stayed inside the coach’s poll for most of the conference season.
Embry-Riddle is bringing in a new group of excellent talent as the program had some of its best players to ever suit up graduate. Caylee Robalin, who was a multi-time All-Cal Pac Team member during her time in Prescott, is the new assistant coach for ERAU.
ERAU has three players who played key roles last season returning, and six total players who got into matches during the 2021 campaign. The Eagles also bring in a familiar face, former La Sierra star Adiva Joseph, the sister of former Embry-Riddle player Sharik Joseph.
This Week’s Matches
Carroll (2-2 this season, 14-15 in 2021): The Saint started its season at the Big Sky Challenge last week, splitting a four-game weekend that saw them defeat Vanguard and Dickson State. Carroll finished under .500 last season, but found its stride late and played deep into the Frontier Conference Tournament. The Saints were picked to finish third in the Frontier in the preseason conference poll.
Montana State-Northern (1-0 this season, 15-13 in 2021): The Skylights opened its season last week, taking a 3-1 victory over Valley City State University. The Eagles and Skylights played each other twice last season, with the Eagles taking both matches. MSU-Northern had a good start to its season in 2021, starting 10-6, but were 4-6 in conference play and were eliminated in the first round of the Frontier Conference Tournament.
Wayland Baptist (2-32 in 2021): While the record shows the worst season in program history, the Pioneers had to forfeit all its games outside of the team’s appearance in the 2021 OUAZ Invitational. Wayland Baptist was supposed to start its season last weekend, but the three matches at the Alamo City Volleysta Tournament. The Eagles defeated WBU in straight sets last season.
College of Idaho (1-3 this season, 14-16 in 2021): The Yotes opened its season hosting the College of Idaho Tournament, winning its season opener before dropping the final three matches of the weekend. Despite finishing 14-16 overall last season, the Yotes were 11-11 in the Cascade, and the program played quality matches and opponents during its non-conference slate in 2021.
The Eagles were impressive during the 2021 edition of the OUAZ Invitational, taking two of three matches last August. The Eagles defeated Montana State-Northern and Wayland Baptist, two teams they will see this weekend.
Embry-Riddle was a top-50 offensive team in the NAIA last season, ranking as one of the 50 best teams in multiple categories. The Eagles were 27th nationally in kills (1636), 27th nationally in assists (1509), and 27th in service aces (232).
At the net, the Eagles were excellent defensively as well. Embry-Riddle was 16th in the NAIA in block assist (408) and 18th in total blocks (263).
Katie Rolle is brining back 569 assists from last season, a mark that was second-best in the Cal Pac. The only person who had more was teammate Terra Gordon, who had 719 to lead the conference.
Rolle was excellent at the net defensively as well, tallying 50 total blocks and seven solo blocks. Rolle also managed to tally 91 kills and a .260 hitting percentage as a setter.
Dalia Haase had an excellent Freshman season for the Eagles, finishing with 125 kills and 63 total blocks. Her 59 block assists were ninth-most in the Cal Pac, and posted a .311 hitting percentage.
Embry-Riddle led the conference during the 2021 season in the following categories: kills, total attacks, hitting percentage, assists, service aces and digs.