Aug. 28, 2000
FOR OPENERS - The Billikens open the season on Fri., Sept. 1, when they host the Coca-Cola Billiken Invitational at Bauman-Eberhardt Athletic Center. All four teams in the tournament won at least 22 matches last season and Southeast Missouri State and Stephen F. Austin qualified for the NCAA Tournament. SLU faces Southwest Missouri State at 7 p.m., on Fri., Sept. 1. Action continues the next day when the Bills face Southeast Missouri State at 1 p.m., and Stephen F. Austin at 7 p.m. SEMO was 28-6 last season, Stephen F. Austin finished 26-10 and SMS was 22-12.
LAST SEASON - The Billikens are coming off a 23-10 season and 9-7 finish in Conference USA. Graduated senior Laura Risley was named C-USA co-Player of the Year, becoming the first female athlete at SLU to be so honored. Colleen Hunter (St. Louis, Mo. / Cor Jesu) was named third-team All-Conference and to the league's All-Freshman team.
THE PLAYERS - The Billikens return five starters from last season and have added a tall and talented recruiting class. Colleen Hunter, four other sophomores return after a productive freshman campaign. Ember Knobeloch (Mascoutah, Ill. / Mascoutah), Beth Middendorf (Freeburg, Ill. / Freeburg), Brooke Minniear (Fort Wayne, Ind. / Snider) and Missy Werges (Washington, Mo. / Borgia) all saw extensive action as freshmen. Joining the team are freshmen Shannan Swiney (St. Louis, Mo. / St. Joseph's) and Alyson Merchant (Hacienda Heights, Calif. / Sonora). Swiney, a setter, was the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Player of the Year while Merchant played for one of the top club teams in California. Julie Malm (Elgin, Ill. / Larkin) and Sara Medendorp (Urbana, Ill. / University) also bring their talents to the squad as walk-ons.
COACH MARILYN NOLEN - Head coach Marilyn Nolen begins her 29th year of collegiate coaching and her seventh at the helm of the Billikens. She ranks third on the active NCAA Division I coaching list and has a career record of 753-294-12.
TICKET INFORMATION - Ticket information can be obtained through the Billiken ticket office at (314) 977-3182.