Sunbirds Favored by NAIA to Repeat

Pool play begins next Tuesday, December 2, in the Tyson Events Center/Gateway Arena for the 29th annual tournament.

The 24 teams will play round-robin until December 4. On December 5 the top two teams from each of the six pools will advance to the single-elimination bracket. The championship match will be Saturday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m. (CST).

For more,visit the NAIA website.

At three apiece, FPU and Columbia College (Mo.) are tied for the most national titles among current NAIA members. Each team makes its 15th-consecutive championship appearance in 2008.

This Sunbird squad includes seven seniors competing in the final matches of their FPU careers. These athletes and their teammates are no strangers to accomplishment:

* Win-loss record: 141-4 * Home court win-loss record: 62-0 * GSAC win-loss record: 77-2 * Weeks spent ranked #1 nationally: 26 * Nationally ranked in the top three their entire collegiate career * GSAC championships: 4 * "Elite eight" finish: 1 (2005) * National runner-up: 1 (2006) * National championship: 1 (2007) * Current winning streak: 42 (goes back to last season)

Among the seniors, Shi Liu has been GSAC Volleyball Player of the Year three times in a row, and has been named to the All-GSAC Team each of her four years at FPU. Thaos Julio and Fabiana Leomil have each been on three All-GSAC teams.

In addition, sophomores Lisa Shilling and Keke Wang were also on this year's all-conference team.


Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations