WEST PLAINS, Mo. – Area residents can get their first look at the 2017 Missouri State University-West Plains Grizzly Volleyball team in action and celebrate a part of the program’s history beginning at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 19, with the annual Grizzly Alumni Volleyball Match and the Grizzly Hall of Fame induction ceremony for former volleyball standout Patricia Gandolfo at the West Plains Civic Center arena.
The induction ceremony for Gandolfo, who donned the Grizzly Volleyball uniform during the 2006 and 2007 seasons, will begin at 2:30 p.m., followed by the annual alumni match at 3, which will pit the 2017 Grizzlies against players from previous squads. The events are being held in conjunction with the university’s Move-In Weekend activities and will be free.
“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 some familiar faces from the past.”
Wiedemann said she hears 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 built the culture of our program. Our alumni created an atmosphere of excellence and it’s important to not take it for granted.”
THE 2017 GRIZZLIES
The alumni will take on a Grizzly team that returns two redshirt players from last year’s squad – Kinli Simmons, a 5-foot, 8-inch setter from El Dorado Springs, and Elliotte Bourne, a 5-foot, 8-inch defensive specialist from Rolla.
Joining the returners will be Grace Stumbaugh, a 6-foot, 1-inch middle/outside attacker from Concordia; Keziah Williams, a 6-foot, 2-inch middle attacker from Branson; Miriam Cardoner Soler, a 5-foot, 8-inch setter from Barcelona, Spain; Koty Cooper, a 6-foot, 1-inch middle/outside attacker from Stella; Karolina Noszczyk, a 6-foot outside attacker from Bedzin, Polans; Kamryn Artale, a 5-foot, 7-inch defensive specialist from Springfield; Yileen Ng He, a 5-foot, 11-inch middle/right side attacker from Colon, Panama; Tatjana Trikovic, a 6-foot right side attacker from Belgrade, Serbia; Alyssa Matherly, a 5-foot, 5-inch defensive specialist from Cabool; and Khadija Sambe, a 6-foot, 2-inch outside attaker from Dakar, Senegal.
“It’s always great to see our alumni, and there are so many people who enjoy the event – the players, alumni, coaches, former host families, and campus and community fans 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 2017 Grizzlies!”
For more information about the Grizzly Volleyball team, visit its website.
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