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EIU volleyball opens 2018 fall camp

CHARLESTON — Eastern Illinois volleyball opened fall camp this week as the Panthers prepare for play under first-year head coach Julie Allen.

EIU was 15-15 overall last season, 8-8 in the Ohio Valley Conference as the Panthers advanced to the semifinals of the OVC Volleyball Tournament.

Senior Taylor Smith returns as one of the top players in the OVC as she was a first team All-Conference selection last season in addition to being the NCAA national leader in triple-doubles.

In addition to Smith, EIU returns three others players that appeared in 100 or more sets last season with senior Gina Furlin, redshirt junior Anne Hughes and sophomore Laurel Bailey.

The Panthers added four new players to the roster for the upcoming season with Bailey Chandler, Hannah Sieg, Danielle Allen and Lynsey Steffen.

The 2018 season will open at home on Friday, August 24 with the Panthers hosting the five-team EIU Panther Invitational sponsored by Holiday Inn Express. The Panthers will play Saint Francis (Pa.) and Fresno State on Friday, Valparaiso on Saturday and Iona on Sunday. The Ohio Valley Conference opener is also at home this season with EIU hosting SIUE on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

Cassidy hired as EIU women's soccer assistant

CHARLESTON — Eastern Illinois women's soccer has hired Janet Cassidy as the Panthers assistant coach for the upcoming season. Cassidy comes to EIU with 14 years of collegiate coaching experience as both a head coach and assistant coach.

Most recently Cassidy served as the head coach at Southwestern Oregon Community College after working for the LA Galaxy South Bay U12 & U13 Club teams during the 2016 & 2017 seasons.

She was the top assistant women's coach at a pair of NCAA Division II schools working at Cal State Dominguez Hills from 2014-16 and Cal Poly Pomona from 2013-14.

Cassidy was the head women's coach at NCAA Division II member Colorado State Pueblo from 2009-12 coaching the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference Goalkeeper of the Year in 2009. The team posted a pair of ten win seasons during her head coaching tenure.

She held a pair of coaching titles during the 2008-09 seasons working as an assistant coach in the Professional Women's W-League with the Ventura County Fusion and as the head coach at Oxnard Junior College.

She began her NCAA collegiate coaching career as an assistant coach at Cal Poly Pomona from 2004-08 after working at Riverside Community College in 2002-03.

Cassidy is a graduate of San Diego State University and played two seasons at Riverside Community College and later in the WPLS Semi Professional League.

EIU places 128 student-athletes on OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – On Wednesday it was announced that a record 1,348 student-athletes have been named to the Ohio Valley Conference’s Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the 2017-18 academic year. Eastern Illinois once again ranked near the top of the OVC with number of athletes on the Commissioner’s Honor Roll as 128 Panther student-athletes reached that honor.

That marks the single-largest total in League history, surpassing the mark of 1,337 honorees set in 2015-16.

To be listed, recipients must have achieved at least a 3.25 grade point average, have been eligible and on the team throughout the competitive season in their chosen NCAA-sponsored sport(s) and used a season of competition.

Those numbers included 34 student-athletes who compete in non-OVC championship sports that do not compete in another conference (i.e. Southeast Missouri gymnastics, UT Martin equestrian, Austin Peay, Jacksonville State and Morehead State beach volleyball) and 155 student-athletes who were recipients in multiple sports (and counted just once in the final total).

Jacksonville State had the most selections to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll (139) while the sport of women’s track and field was the sport with the most honorees league-wide (188). Eastern Illinois was second with 128 followed by Belmont with 126. Earlier this week the OVC released is OVC Academic Medal of Honor Award winners with EIU boasting a league-high 30 winners.

Over the past 10 years the OVC has honored nearly 12,000 student-athletes with the Commissioner’s Honor Roll award.

Earlier this week the League announced that 238 student-athletes earned the OVC Academic Medal of Honor for having perfect 4.0 grade point averages last academic year. The League will announce the winner of the Academic Achievement Award and Team Academic Achievement Awards on Thursday.

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