WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Area residents can get their first look at the 2014 Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team in action at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, during the annual Grizzly Alumni Volleyball Match at the West Plains Civic Center arena.
The contest, which is being held in conjunction with the university’s annual Welcome Week activities, will be free and will pit the 2014 Grizzlies against players from previous squads.
“This is always a fun event for us and our fans,” Grizzly Volleyball Head Coach Paula Wiedemann said. “It’s a chance to see this year’s team for the first time and, hopefully, some faces from the past.”
Wiedemann said she works to obtain confirmations from alumni who plan to attend, but pointed out there are always surprises. “You never know who will show up for the game. Something we have to contend with is the fact that so many of our former players are coaches themselves, and they are in the middle of their preseasons, as well,” she explained. “Even so, we hope to have a good group here to play and, as always, it is great to reconnect with our alumni and have our current players meet those who paved the way for them.”
The alumni will take on a Grizzly team that returns six players from last year’s squad – sophomores Lee Lee Barrett, a 6-foot, 2-inch middle attacker from Ooltewah Tenn.; Kaili Simmons, a 5-foot, 10-inch outside attacker/defensive specialist from El Dorado Springs, Mo.; Brianna Zebert, a 5-foot, 9-inch setter from Pierce City, Mo.; Alyssa Aldag, a 5-foot, 5-inch defensive specialist from Fort Worth, Texas; Paris Witte, a 5-foot, 7-inch defensive specialist from West Plains and redshirt freshman Ashley Bishton, a 6-foot, 2-inch middle/right side attacker from Liberty, Mo.
Joining the returners will be sophomore transfer Zori Curry, a 6-foot, 2-inch middle from Oklahoma City, Okla.; freshmen Susannah Kelley, a 5-foot, 8-inch setter from Jonesboro, Ark.; Mikala Hicks, a 5-foot, 9-inch right side/outside hitter from Fair Gove, Mo.; Pulotu Manoa, a 5-foot, 11-inch outside hitter from Concord, Cali.; Gabby Edmondson, a 5-foot, 10-inch outside hitter from Christchurch, New Zealand; Penny Liu, a 6-foot, 2-inch opposite from Nanjing, China; Breanna Taylor, a 6-foot outside hitter from Houston, Texas; and Guro Froberg, a 5-foot, 11-inch outside hitter from Askim, Norway.
“It’s always great to see our alumni, and there are so many people who enjoy the event – from the players, alumni, coaches, host families and former instructors and staff who were involved with the alumni when they were at Missouri State-West Plains as student athletes,” Wiedemann said. “We invite everyone to come out, watch this year’s alumni match and meet the 2014 Grizzlies!”
For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit its website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/grizzly/vb/.