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Volleyball gets the season started with Mercer Bears Classic

Members of the 2021-2022 Mercer volleyball team. Photo provided by Mercer Athletics.
Members of the 2021-2022 Mercer volleyball team. Photo provided by Mercer Athletics.

Volleyball is returning to action Friday in a home opener against Stetson University.

The game against Stetson is part of the Mercer Bears Classic tournament, a three-game homestand where Mercer will play Steston, the University of New Hampshire and Murray State University.

Mercer’s volleyball team closed out last season with a Southern Conference Championship game loss to Samford University, but the Bears looked better than ever despite the loss.

Merer received their first-ever share of the regular-season title last season, and expectations are high as the SoCon coaching poll projected Mercer to place second in the SoCon.

This preseason saw middle hitter Jaida Howell and outside hitter Annie Karle receive Preseason All-SoCon nods. Karle led the Bears in kills with 285 while Howell led the team in blocks with 90 last season and seem primed to have great seasons for Mercer.

Volleyball added outside hitter Morgan Verheyen who transferred from the University of Buffalo. Verheyen did not play last season due to COVID-19 but recorded eight spikes, four digs and three kills for Buffalo in 2019.

Middle hitter Rayanne de Oliveira is returning after averaging .36 service aces per set, sixth-best in the SoCon, along with libero Megan Smith who was also sixth in the SoCon averaging 4.17 digs per set.

After the Mercer Bears Classic, volleyball will have three more tournaments before entering conference play: the Denver Tournament, the Elon Tournament and the Georgia Southern Tournament.

The full volleyball schedule can be found at

Keith Holmes Jr.

Keith Holmes Jr. ‘22 is a journalism and creative writing double major who has worked with The Cluster as general staff since his Sophomore year. Keith has received Best in SNO awards for his sports articles along with years of work at Mercer’s ESPN3 branch. Keith spends his free time playing video games and writing fiction around campus. 


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