Union University will set out in the 2002 season to once again be a contender for the TranSouth Conference championship and yet another trip to the NAIA Region XI Tournament. The Lady Bulldogs lost some key players from the 2001 squad, including All-American and NAIA record holder, Lauren Hayden. Union has three returning players and seven newcomers to help in reloading for the upcoming season.
Andrea Darr is the lone senior on this team. Darr is first team all-conference and All-American performer from a year ago and will be called on to lead and be a productive player from the outside hitter position. Also returning are two sophomores, Allison Shein and Nicole Garber. Shein will be used at the outside hitter position while Garber, last season’s TranSouth Conference Freshman of the Year, will see be used at both the setter position and defensive specialist.
Union has four juniors this year, all of which are transfers from other colleges. Erin Bayne and Lindsay Stahlberg join the Lady Bulldogs from Southwest Illinois College. Bayne will be Union’s setter and Stahlberg will start for Union as their right side hitter. Crystal Abel comes over from the 2002 NAIA National Champions, Columbia College. Abel will be a great contributor for Coach Dunn at the outside hitter position. And rounding out the junior class is Jennie Glassey. Glassey is a transfer from Cal State Chico and will start for the Lady Bulldogs at the outside hitter position.
Thee freshman round out this young Union team and will all have opportunities to contribute and add to the success of this program. Jackson natives Michelle Dean and Alexis McLeary join the team from South Side and Trinity Christian respectively. Dean will see time at the outside hitter position and McLeary will play as a defensive specialist. Elizabeth Faulkner also joins the team as a freshman from Fort Payne High School in Alabama. She will also see time as a defensive specialist.
This will be the fifth season of competition for the Union volleyball program after starting back in 1998. Coach Dunn is optimistic about the upcoming season and adds that the team has some real good talent. Dunn has been successful in each of the past four seasons as Union’s head coach as he has an overall record of 145-35 during that span.