2009 Volleyball Season Outlook: Outside Hitters

Aug. 20, 2009

The 2009 Oregon State volleyball season is just days away. The start of the 2009 campaign begins Saturday in legendary Gill Coliseum as the team hosts its annual Orange and Black Scrimmage at 12:00 p.m.

Here's a look at the Oregon State outside hitters. Check osubeavers.com in coming days for a further look into the 2009 season. And purchase your season tickets to see all the excitement in the team’s 12 home matches this season.

Lexie Rathgeber

Kiersten Sambrailo
Tami Brown
Ashley Eneliko

Outside Hitters

Rachel Rourke and Bree Knitter and junior Jill Sawatzky are penciled in to start at the pin positions for the Beavers. Freshman Camille Saxton will look to work her way into that mix.


Rourke will carry the load as she has for the last three years. She will primarily swing from the left and backcourt but could find herself pacing the point scoring at opposite as well. Rourke earned a pair of firsts for the Oregon State volleyball program in 2008, becoming the first All-American and All-Region selection. She added Pac-10 First Team honors and was named Pac-10 Player of the Week after her 20-plus kill matches at the Marquette Cheesebowl. She finished the season with 497 total kills, averaging 4.44 per set, and moved into third all-time for career kills. Rourke added a team-high 20 aces, while adding 50 total blocks and 113 digs.


Sawatzky will anchor the other side of the offense as she has since her freshman season and will also split time at opposite. She continued to build on her rookie seasons success with 330 kills, averaging 3.08 per set, with 199 digs and 51 blocks. The coaches look for production from Sawatzky in her backcourt rotations and from the service line as well.


The attacking X-factor has been Knitter, able to score from the left as well as run up-tempo combinations from the opposite position. Knitters blinding arm-speed is dangerous at both the net and from the service line. Her tough jump serve top spin accumulated 18 service aces on the team, the fourth most last season. Also contributing on the defensive end with 55 blocks, including five solo, she has steadied her performances in the spring season and the coaches look for her to find consistency in her senior season.


Joining this group of experienced attackers is Saxton. A top Canadian indoor and outdoor player, Saxton is not only a hard-hitter, she is also a skilled shot-maker, server, defender and passer.


Our outside hitters make an interesting group. Rachel and Jill both will play as outsides with Bree at opposite, Liskevych said. Bree can still be the hybrid that helps us in the middle at times, but really we want to play her opposite and see how that works out. One of the wild cards is how quickly can Camille Saxton come into the mix to help with that entire outside situation.

Check osubeavers.com for the latest on Oregon State volleyball.

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