MONTGOMERY, Ala. - UMES will head to Alabama is search of its third non- conference tournament championship, competing in the ASU Tournament in Montgomery. The Hawks, starting the tournament with North Texas at 9 a.m. on Friday, will face tournament host Alabama State at 7 p.m. at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome. On Saturday, the Hawks will face play Troy at 9 a.m., followed by a highly anticipated match: Reigning MEAC champion UMES will play reigning SWAC champion Jackson State at 3 p.m. EBSTER-SCHWARZENBERGER - MEAC ROTW Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger was selected as the MEAC Rookie of the Week for the period ending September 9th. On Saturday, the freshman outside hitter combined for 25 kills with just three errors to hit .458 in the two matches, earning a place on the WVU Golden Horseshoe All-Tournament Team. WVU GOLDEN HORSESHOE CHALLENGE CHAMPION The Hawks won all three matches in the WVU Golden Horseshoe Challenge, including against tournament host and Big 12 Conference member West Virginia, to win their second invitational of the season. UMES defeated WVU in four sets, following up with wins against St. Peter's and Wright State. Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa was named MVP with 26 kills, while Victoria Williams and Bridget Ebster-Schwarzenberger earned All- Tournament Team. TOP SERVING TEAM IN THE NATION The Hawks lead all of Division I in aces per set, averaging 2.21 aces per game and totaling 93 in 42 sets. Saitaua Iosia has 24 aces and is fifth in Division I with 0.77 aces per set. Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa is not far behind at 18th in D-I, with 23 aces for 0.55 each game, and Maline Vaitai is 184th with 0.33 aces per set. UMES led all of D-I in aces per set in 2007, 2009 and 2010. UMES IS THE TOP HITTING TEAM IN THE MEAC...... UMES is the top hitting team in the MEAC, earning a .248 hitting percentage so far in 2012, standing over 50 percentage points above second place Hampton at .198. The top player in hitting percentage in the conference plays for the Hawks: Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa is hitting .365 with 61 kills and just 15 errors in 126 attacks. ...AND THE TOP DEFENSIVE TEAM IN THE LEAGUE The Hawks have allowed opponents to hit just .149, exactly 70 percentage points ahead of second place Delaware State at .219. UMES averages a league-leading 2.12 blocks per set, led by Ndidi Ibe's 1.21 blocks per set, which is also the best in the conference. No other conference team averages over two blocks a set. UMES NOT BEING A GOOD GUEST Tournament hosts have felt the wrath of UMES this season. The Hawks have won all three of their road matches to start the year, beating St. Francis (NY), Savannah State and West Virginia. Dating back to previous seasons, the Hawks have won against their last nine road non-conference tournament hosts. Their last loss against a road tournament host came on Sept. 9, 2010, when UMES fell to Rhode Island in five at the Art Carmichael Invite. IOSIA NAMED AVCA DIVISION I PLAYER OF THE WEEK For the second time in her career, Saitaua Iosia was honored as the American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I Player of the Week for the period ending August 26th. She is the only player in MEAC history to earn this honor. She had three double doubles in the SFC Terrier Invitational, finishing with 64 kills with a .357 hitting percentage and 47 digs. IOSIA EARNS MEAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN For the second straight week, Saitaua Iosia has been named the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Player of the Week for the period ending Sept. 2nd. That weekend, the sophomore outside hitter totaled 59 kills and 43 digs in four matches, including double doubles against Southern Utah, tallying 21 kills and 19 digs, and UNC Asheville, earning 11 kills and 11 digs. HAWKS TAKE SECOND PLACE IN TIGER INVITATIONAL The Maroon and Gray had a strong showing in the Tiger Invitational in Savannah last weekend, going 4-1 over the three days to take second place. UMES went 1-1 on the first day with wins over Southern Utah and a loss to New Mexico, ending with three straight shutout victories over UNC Asheville, Kennesaw State and tournament host Savannah State. Saitaua Iosia finished with 59 kills and 43 digs in the tournament, while Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa hit .324 with 35 kills and 13 service aces. SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Coming into Wednesday, North Texas, representing the Sun Belt, is 9-4. The team is coming off its second home invite, going 2-2, including wins over Oral Roberts and Hofstra and losses to Eastern Michigan and Texas A&M-CC. The Mean Green is led by 6-3 junior middle blocker and Baylor transfer Courtney Windham with a team high 154 kills and 65 blocks. Freshman outside hitter Carnae Dillard has 148 kills and 87 digs. Tournament host Alabama State, playing its second tournament at home this season is seeking its first win, currently standing at 0-12. Last time out, the Hornets, from the SWAC, fell in a mid-week contest on the road in three to UT-Chattanooga. Leading the squad in kills is freshman outside hitter Rachel Smith with 68, adding 72 digs. Fellow freshman Amber Bennett sports a team-best 18 blocks, also contributing 51 kills. Troy, also out of the Sun Belt, enters the tournament with a 6-5 record after going 3-1 in the Owls Invitational in Kennesaw, Georgia, including a victory over MEAC-school North Carolina Central. Freshman outside hitter Blair Winston leads the Trojans with 123 kills, adding 32 digs. The team's top middle blocker is senior Breanna Cullity, a transfer from LIU Brooklyn, who has 34 blocks and 90 kills. Reigning SWAC champion Jackson State has a 2-7 standing coming into the invitational. After starting 0-6, the Tigers have won two of their last three matches, including its last one in three sets over Alcorn State. UMES transfer Christine Edwards has tallied a team- high 99 kills and 17 aces, also earning 65 digs. Junior middle Paige Williams has 58 kills and 33 blocks. VAITAI APPROACHING 1,000-KILL CLUB Maline Vaitai stands at 836 kills in her career, just 164 away from becoming a member of the 1,000-kill club. The 2010 MEAC Rookie of the Year had 407 kills as a freshman and 317 in 2011, currently standing with 89. The UMES 1,000-kill club in the 25-point era includes Whitney Johnson (1,225) and Caylin Woodward (1,132). Teammate Saitaua Iosia currently stands with 616 kills, including 144 this season. HAWKS WIN THE SFC TERRIER INVITATIONAL UMES is the champion of the SFC Terrier Invitational after the Hawks swept the competition in the Big Apple, defeating NJIT, tournament host St. Francis (NY) and Radford, all in four sets, to begin the season at 3-0. Iosia led the Hawks with 64 kills and 47 digs, earning double doubles in all three matches. Ndidi Ibe and Kaveinga Lea'Aetoa each hit over .420 with at least 25 kills and 12 blocks each. IOSIA NAMED PRESEASON PLAYER OF THE YEAR Saitaua Iosia, the 2011 MEAC Rookie of the Year, was voted the MEAC Preseason Player of the Year by the conference in July. The sophomore led the MEAC with 472 kills and 4.77 points per set last season, finishing in the top 50 in Division I in 2011 in points, aces and kills per set. Iosia added 49 aces, 268 digs and 54 total blocks. METIL EARNS 200TH CAREER WIN Don Metil won his 100th match at UMES on September 30th, 2011 with a shutout victory over Alabama State. He also earned his 200th victory as a head coach on November 18th, 2011 after a five-set win over North Carolina Central. With the Hawks, Metil is the winningest coach in UMES volleyball history with a 127-40 record. Metil's first win in Division I came at Coppin State against UMES 3-2 on Sept. 25, 2005, while his first UMES win came against Coppin State 3-0 on Aug. 24, 2007. He has earned over 200 victories including stops at Notre Dame (MD), Lees-McRae and Coppin State. UMES 2ND LONGEST ACTIVE HOME WINNING STREAK Winning their last 24 matches in Princess Anne, the Hawks have the longest home winning streak in Division I. UMES took over the top spot after previous the previous leader, Texas, lost to Minnesota on Sept. 7, 2012. UMES's last loss in the Hytche Athletic Center came on Sept. 26, 2009 with a 3-0 defeat from Sacred Heart. The first home match this season will be October 5th when the Hawks play Coppin State at 7 p.m. UMES MATCHES TO AIR ON WGOP WGOP 540 AM and 100.7 FM returns as the flagship station of Hawks volleyball for its second season and will air all matches live on the radio this year. Dave Vatz returns for his third season with UMES and will provide play-by-play, with WGOP producers Suzy Rummel and Steve Pettit operating from the Pocomoke City studio. Fans can listen online on umeshawks.com. ASU TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE Friday, September 14thUMES v. North Texas 9:00 a.m. Jackson State v. UT-Martin 11:00 a.m. Troy @ Alabama State 1:00 p.m. North Texas v. UT-Martin 3:00 p.m. Jackson State v. TroyUMES @ Alabama State 5:00 p.m.7:00 p.m. Saturday, September 15thUMES v. Troy 9:00 a.m. Jackson State v. North Texas 11:00 a.m. UT-Martin @ Alabama StateUMES v. Jackson State 1:00 p.m.3:00 p.m. North Texas @ Alabama State 6:00 p.m.