Lake Forest tournament first on Black and Gold schedule

The host Lake Forest College of Illinois Foresters, the Engineers of Milwaukee School of Engineering, the Spartans of Aurora University of Illinois and the Spartans of the University of Dubuque are on the scheduled roster for Manchester University at the Forester Invitational Friday and Saturday, Sept. 1 and 2.

Tournament details: All matches are held at LFC’s Sports and Recreation Center … Coach Bryndon Paulsen’s squad plays at 5 and 7 p.m. Eastern Standard Time Friday against LFC and MSOE and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. EST Saturday versus Dubuque and Aurora.

Spartan Shorts: It is time for another level. Head coach Bryndon Paulsen knows it … his student-athletes understand that fact, too. An elevated standard of excitement is brewing, as Manchester University’s 2017 volleyball season continues to approach on the calendar. However, that has been the theme of a high-flying Class of 2019 since they arrived in North Manchester two late summers ago. The results have been there … Back-to-back Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference postseason tournament appearances among two double-digit win campaigns that included 2016 where the Black and Gold finished just shy of 20 victories … As Paulsen admitted, going from where the program started when he became an assistant in 2014 to now has been the “easy” part. Now, it is time for something more challenging. “(The individuals) have been speaking with our coaching staff about wanting to achieve something more,” he said. “They’ve got to take ownership (of it). We need to figure out where we are going and how important that fact is. To do so, it is coming down to leadership. There were many times we just showed up to play and were successful. To get where we want, it’ll take some floor leaders to step forward. There were flashes last season but nothing steady. Being a top tier program is not something that just happens overnight … You have to do so year round with the work and so forth. They tell us they want that level, but it’s on them (to get there).” … Manchester University was tabbed sixth in the 2017 Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s preseason volleyball coaches’ poll, released Friday, Aug. 11. The Black and Gold, going into the season harboring back-to-back HCAC postseason tournament appearances, received 59 points, leaving them just six points behind Rose-Hulman and a spot in the top four. Two-time defending champion Hanover College topped the list with 98 points and eight first-place votes while perennial league power Bluffton University stood second (82 points – two first-place votes). Coach Paulsen’s squad had five individuals noted in the Players to Watch section. They were junior setter Dakota Stanichuk (Troy, Mich.); junior middle hitter Hannah Tevis (Royal Center, Ind.); junior right side hitter Haley Duncan (Albion, Ind.); sophomore outside hitter Emma DeWitt (Brookston, Ind.) and sophomore libero Anna Marie Lawrie (Indianapolis, Ind.)… Season-opening tournaments have seen mixed results for the Black and Gold in recent seasons. The high water marks since 2012 are a pair of splits (2-2) in 2015 and 2012.

Stauffer-Wolfe Starter: Ancilla College makes the short trek to North Manchester for a 7 p.m. first serve Wednesday, Sept. 6.

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