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Wright State learns NCAA volleyball path


DAYTON — Making its third trip to the NCAA Championship in the last four seasons, the Wright State volleyball team will travel to Milwaukee and take on Georgia Tech in the opening round of the NCAA Championship. The Raiders learned their opponent Sunday night as part of ESPN’s live Selection Show.

The Raiders will take on the Yellow Jackets on Thursday at 5 p.m. in first round action. The Wright State-Georgia Tech winner advances to take on the Marquette-Ball State winner in the second round on Friday slated for a 7 p.m. start.

Wright State punched its ticket to the Dance last Sunday with a sweep over Northern Kentucky, as Jenna Story was named Horizon League Tournament MVP, while Callie Martin and Sam Ott were each named to the All-Tournament team.

This will be Wright State’s third NCAA Volleyball Championship appearance, with the Spring 2021 Raiders notching the first NCAA postseason win in program history with a sweep of Samford before falling to Texas. Wright State also earned an at-large bid into the 2019 tournament, the first at-large bid to an NCAA Championship in Wright State athletics history, where the Raiders ultimately fell to Purdue in the opening round.

Wright State posted a perfect 18-0 record in HL play and has now won 23 straight matches overall. This marks just the fourth time in Horizon League history that a team finished the regular season with three losses or less, with the Raiders joining Milwaukee (1999 and 2007) and Wright State from the Spring 2021 shortened season. The Raiders have the only two undefeated League seasons in Horizon League history (Spring 2021 and 2022).

Wright State saw several Raiders earn honors as part of the 2022 Horizon League Volleyball Awards, led by Jenna Story’s fourth consecutive HL Defensive Player of the Year honor. Fellow fifth-year senior Lainey Stephenson earned Setter of the Year honors for the second time in her career and first-year head coach Travers Green was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year. The good news didn’t stop with the major awards, as Wright State recorded a League-high four First Team honors, with Taylor Bransfield and Callie Martin joining Stephenson and Story, while Aaliyah Byers was named to the All-Freshman Team.

Wright State enters the NCAA Championship with a 28-3 overall record, while Georgia Tech holds a 20-7 overall mark. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools in volleyball.

Baseball to open 2023 season in Hawaii

DAYTON — The Wright State baseball program will return to Hawaii for the first time in 25 years, opening its 2023 season against the University of Hawaii. WSU is set to open the four-game series on February 17 at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Raiders and Rainbow Warriors have met five times, most recently in the 2006 NCAA Corvallis Regional.

Wright State last traveled to Hawaii in 1998 for the Rainbow Spring Tournament. The Raiders also made stops in Hawaii for tournament competition in 1990 and 1996.

Wright State’s full 2023 schedule will release at a later date.

Noel wins Horizon Freshman of the Week

INDIANAPOLIS — Northern Kentucky’s Marques Warrick earned back-to-back Nike #HLMBB Player of the Week honors after leading the Horizon League in scoring including a 45-point performance in a double overtime victory at home, while Wright State’s Brandon Noel shot over 70 percent from the floor and averaged 15.0 points and 8.0 rebounds to help the Raiders to a 2-1 week in Las Vegas to be named Nike #HLMBB Freshman of the Week as the Horizon League announced its men’s basketball weekly honors on Monday.

Noel finished in double figures in two of Wright State’s three contests as part of the Vegas 4 tournament, capping the week with a career-high 23 points in the win over Weber State. Noel opened the Vegas trip with eight points and six rebounds on 4-of-5 shooting before a 14-point effort against UC Riverside as he connected on his first two collegiate 3-pointers and pulled down a career-best 11 rebounds. Against Weber State, Noel was 10-of-11 from the floor with two more triples and added seven rebounds. He finished the week shooting 72 percent overall with 24 total rebounds, including 20 on the defensive glass, while chipping in six steals, three blocks and three assists.

Raiders to meet Georgia Tech in third NCAA appearance in four seasons

Staff Report