Tag Archives: OLLU Volleyball

Saints volleyball announces fall schedule

The volleyball team announces the 2022 fall schedule for its 16th season in the NAIA. The Saints compete in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) along with Huston-Tillotson University (HTU), the University of the Southwest (USW), Paul Quinn College (PQC), Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), Jarvis Christian College (JCC), Louisiana Christian University (LCU) and Texas College (TX). Texas A&M University – Texarkana (TAMUT) is the conference’s newest member for volleyball.

Head Coach Scott Mattera commented, “I’m so happy the conference adopted our ‘doubleheader’ format as it not only cuts down on travel and costs, it balances the schedule so all teams are playing an equal number of matches and each team twice.”

“It’s really hard to get teams to come this far south to play once the season gets rolling, so we have to load up on home matches early in the year during the preconference part of the schedule,” Mattera explained. “Starting off with nine straight home matches is pretty crazy but it will give our fans lots of opportunities to see what OLLU volleyball is all about!”

Two OLLU Tournaments
(Numbers in parenthesis are all-time records.)

The season begins with the OLLU inaugural Alamo City Volleyesta Tournament from Aug. 19-20. Teams participating include Wayland Baptist University (4-8), Evangel  University (1-1), Texas Wesleyan University (9-9) and HTU (27-3). The Saints play Evangel at 7 p.m. on Aug. 19 and on Aug. 20, Wayland at 12 p.m. and Texas Wesleyan at 5 p.m.

The following week, the Saints will host the third annual San Antonio ShinDig featuring Friends University (1-1), Loyola University (1-1), Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) (10-8) and Westcliff University. OLLU plays Friends at 2 p.m. and SAGU at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26. The Saints play Loyola at 1:30 p.m. and Westcliff at 6 p.m. on Aug. 27.

Mattera said, “We are really excited to have some teams coming to San Antonio that we haven’t had here in a long time, if ever, including really solid programs from Evangel, Loyola, Westcliff, Friends, and Texas Wesleyan. Add them to always good SAGU and Wayland Baptist, and our young team will have to grow up fast.”

Conference matches

All RRAC matches will be at 7 p.m. on Fridays and 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The schedule begins Sept. 9-10 as the Saints host PQC (5-0). After a nonconference match on Sept. 14 at Texas Lutheran University (4-2) in San Marcos, Texas, the Saints will travel to TAMUT for conference matches on Sept. 16-17. USW (22-4) will come to OLLU for matches on Sept. 23-24.

OLLU will travel to Austin for matches against HTU Sept. 30-Oct. 1 and the Saints will return to host LCU (1-0) on Oct. 14-15. Texas Lutheran will come to OLLU on Oct. 19 for a nonconference match. The Saints will head out to New Orleans on Oct. 21-22 for matches against XULA (3-2).

The final two series will take place Oct. 28-29 against Texas College (24-0) at home and Nov. 4-5 against JCC (19-0) in Hawkins, Texas.

Postseason schedule

The conference tournament will be hosted by XULA in New Orleans Nov. 11-12, and the NAIA’s opening-round matches will take place at campus sites on Nov. 19. Qualifiers will advance to the 43rd Annual NAIA Volleyball National Championship at Tysons Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, Nov. 30-Dec. 6.

Volleyball announces 2022 recruiting class

Twelve newcomers will join the volleyball team for this upcoming fall season.

Head Coach Scott Mattera commented, “I couldn’t be happier with our incoming class. Obviously, we return a lot of talent from a very competitive 2021 team, but our new additions will both fill some holes left by retiring players and add some size and athleticism to our offense. Most importantly, though, is that every single one of them has the character and academic pedigree that we look for in Saints!”

Additions to the 2022 squad from San Antonio are setter Lauren Reynard from Churchill High School and the club team Alamo; outside hitter Mia Francis from Stevens High School and the club team Magic; outside hitter Mia Dorsey from Madison High School and the club team Top Gun; setter Viviana Solis from Warren High School and the club team Empire; middle/outside hitter Briana Contreras and right-side Kiara Osio from Highlands High School and the club team Destination; defensive specialist Evelyn Ortega from Brennan High School and the club team Impact; and setter Kylie Dominguez from McCollum High School and the club team Destination.

Hailing from Corpus Christi, Texas, and Veterans Memorial High School graduates are outside hitters and defensive specialists Julia Anguiano and Ariana Caldera. El Paso, Texas, native and Ysleta High School graduate Karla Candia will also join the team. Anguiano is from the club team CC Storm, and Caldera is from the club team CC Force. Candia is a middle and outside hitter and played on the club team Rapid Fire.

The Saints finished their 2021 season as runners-up in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Championship match after falling to Xavier University of Louisiana 2-3. OLLU was the West Division Champions marking a 12-1 record in the RRAC and 19-6 overall.

The 2022 season will see the return of RRAC Freshman of the Year and Defender of the Year Tina Trevino (FR/Laredo, Texas), Attacker of the Year Camila Ramirez (FR/El Paso, Texas) and three-time All-Conference First Team middle Sadie Ballesteros (JR/Atascosa, Texas). RRAC All-Tournament selectee and All-Conference Second Team middle Tijana Kruta (SR/Bar, Montenegro) will return for her fifth year. Also returning are Dailyn Mann (FR/Cibolo, Texas), Madalyn Gonzalez (SO/San Antonio, Texas) and Ashleigh Ramirez (SO/Helotes, Texas) – all saw significant varsity action in 2021. The team will compete in its 16th season in late August 2022.

Saints spend afternoon with dogs at Animal Care Services

The volleyball team spent the afternoon at the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services (ACS) located off State Highway 151.

The center officials were thrilled to have the Saints there to volunteer. It houses more than 480 dogs in its system and of those, approximately 10 percent struggle to find homes.

Learn more about the organization here.

The activities the team participated in were walking the dogs who were in the shelters and giving them the extra love they needed. All of the women on the team were excited to participate in such a fun and rewarding volunteer activity.

OLLU Women’s Athletics Administrator Haley Holzem, who accompanied the team, said, “Volunteers are needed daily to let dogs out and walk with them so the animals are able to get human interaction. The volleyball team helped these dogs in so many ways!”

Volunteering for community events is part of the NAIA’s Champions of Character program that helps student-athletes find the balance by keeping five core values – integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership – at the heart of the athletics experience. The Saints volleyball team will open its season in fall 2022.

Saints welcome volleyball alumni

OLLU welcomed alumni members of the volleyball team to campus on Saturday, March 26. The women first played a friendly match against current Saints players and then enjoyed a luncheon outside of the University Wellness and Activities Center (UWAC).

The Saints defeated the alumni 2-1 with set scores of 22-25, 25-20 and 25-20. Prior to the game, Director of Alumni and Family Relations Debora Guzman Perez and Head Coach Scott Mattera honored three alumni – Alexia Bustamante, Gloriana Villarreal and Alysha Blanco.

Previous recipients of the volleyball alumni awards are as follows:

2015: Sarah Lindsey (2007-2010) and Kelsey Johnson (2007-2010)
2016: Liza Rodriguez (2008-2011) and Elyse Escobar (2008-2011)
2017: Norma Fraga (2009-2012) and Desirea Aguilar (2009-2012)
2019: Suzette Pena (2011-2014), Bryttany Willoughby (2011-2014) and Kendall Groff (2013-2017)

ALEXIA BUSTAMANTE – Alumni Saints Service AwardWhile at OLLU from 2014-2016, Bustamante received the 2015 All-Conference Second Team, 2016 All-Conference Honorable Mention, 2016 Champions of Character and 2016-2017 Conference Scholar-Athlete awards. She graduated from OLLU in 2017. Bustamante is now a teacher’s assistant at The Winston School of San Antonio. Bustamante received the Alumni Saints Service Award for her work in the community, especially with the Club Volleyball program in San Antonio, including the San Antonio Juniors Volleyball Club, where she coaches the 13 Adidas and the 16 National teams.
GLORIANA VILLARREAL – PROVIDENCE ALUMNI AWARDDr. Gloriana Villarreal, who was on the team from 2012-2015, received the Providence Alumni Award. At OLLU, she earned the 2013 All-Conference First Team, 2015 All-Conference First Team, NAIA Scholar-Athlete in 2014 and 2015 and Conference Scholar-Athlete in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 awards. Villarreal received her degree in 2016, and after pharmacy school at UIW, she is now a Doctor of Pharmacy in her hometown of Brownsville, Texas.


Alysha Blanco also received the Providence Alumni Award. Unfortunately, Blanco was not able to make the event. Blanco played on the Saints team from 2012-2015. She was the first volleyball player at OLLU to earn NAIA All-American honors. She also was named to the AVCA All-South-Central Region Team in 2014 and 2015. In 2013, she was named to the All-Conference Second Team, and in 2014 and 2015, the All-Conference First Team. In 2014 and 2015, she was named to the All-Tournament Team. In 2015, she was named Conference Player of the Year, and in 2016, she was named a Conference Scholar-Athlete. Blanco graduated from OLLU in 2016.

The following members of the volleyball team from 2007 through 2021 are listed below:

AlumnaFall Academic Year-Spring Academic Year
Alexia Bustamante2014-2016
Mariza Cardenas2015-2019
Amanda Esparza2018-2021
Natalie Fazio2017-2020
Bailei Hubbard2017-2019
Kalani Ketchens2019-2021
Madison Madrid2007-2008
Alyssa Marquez2018-2021
Norrelle Mitchell2016-2018
Suzette Pena2011-2014
Jessica Ramirez2007-2008
Anyssa Rivera2016-2020
Janelle Solis2013-2016
Raven Swain2013-2017
Anissa Tamez2017-2021
Gloriana Villarreal2012-2015

Volleyball voted second among nine programs in RRAC Preseason Poll

The 2021 Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Volleyball Preseason Poll has been released, and the OLLU volleyball team is ranked second, while new RRAC member Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA) has been picked first.

This ranking comes after the Saints won both the conference regular-season and tournament and made their fourth trip to nationals in the 2020 abbreviated season. The team has won five regular-season titles plus four tournament titles. The women had an undefeated conference season last year.

XULA, which edged out the Saints for the top ranking by one point, has won the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference regular-season and tournament championships in the past 10 years.

In the three previous matchups between OLLU and Xavier, the Saints have won 3-1 in 2016 and 3-2 and 3-0 in 2020.

The Saints will begin RRAC competition against Paul Quinn College (PQC) at home on Sept. 17 after they kick off the season with seven non-conference matches, including the OLLU ShinDig Tournament on Aug. 27-28.

OLLU will compete from the West Division with Huston-Tillotson University (HTU), PQC, the University of the Southwest (USW) and Wiley College (WC). The East Division is comprised of Jarvis Christian College (JCC), Louisiana College (LC), Texas College (TXC) and Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA).

The field for this season grew from three teams in 2020 to nine. Four schools that opted out last year (HTU, WC, TXC and PQC) are returning to play this fall, and the RRAC picked up Xavier and Louisiana College as new members. The RRAC returns to its normal fall schedule after playing in the spring and completing the conference’s championship tournament in March of this year. 

Head Coach Scott Mattera commented, “Preseason rankings are always an inexact science and this year more so than ever because so few teams played last year. We are excited to have the new additions to the conference and look forward to great new friendly rivalries. Xavier especially is exciting because they are coming off a conference championship as well and New Orleans is always a fun city to visit.”

Mattera addressed the 2021 squad saying, “I’m honestly not sure where to rank us in the preseason seeing as we lost a lot of firepower from last year. I do know that I like what we have returning and our new additions. The energy in our gym and the ‘buy-in’ to our philosophies are fantastic. The big question is how soon will that translate into on-court performance? Returning Sadie Ballesteros (JR/Atascosa, Texas) and Tijana Kruta (SR/Bar, Montenegro) in the middle is a big deal and while our back row graduated two starters, we have a lot of players with significant experience to hold it down back there. Cassidy Haller (SO/Cibolo, Texas) was named RRAC Freshman of the Year last season, and she coming back after her health issues could be huge for us. Breaking in a new setter is always something you worry about, but Madelynn Strzelczyk (SO/Marion, Texas) did a great job last year in a backup role, and she’s ready to take the reins. If we can get solid production from our outsides and stay healthy, we should be a fun team to watch!”

XULA, which joined the RRAC from the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) this year, earned four first-place votes to OLLU’s two. HTU picked up two first-place votes as well and is ranked third. WC took fourth and USW, which is picked to finish fifth, earned one top selection. JCC placed sixth in the poll, followed by LC, TXC and PQC.

Voting was conducted by head coaches at the conference. Results of the poll are shown below with points calculated through a 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 format.

First-place votes are shown in parentheses.

1.Xavier University of Louisiana (4)70
2.Our Lady of the Lake University (2)69
3.Huston-Tillotson University (2)61
4.Wiley College59
5.University of the Southwest (1)45
6.Jarvis Christian College34
7.Louisiana College32
8.Texas College19
9.Paul Quinn College16

Volleyball’s Ketchens awarded NAIA All-American Honorable Mention

OLLU volleyball player Kalani Ketchens (SR/San Antonio, Texas) was awarded the NAIA All-American Honorable Mention for her play during the 2020 season.

Head Coach Scott Mattera said, “This is a huge honor for Kalani and it reflects the success we had as a team on the court this year. A piece of this should probably go to Anissa Tamez (SR/San Antonio, Texas) as well as their setter-hitter connection was pretty special all year!”

Ketchens led the Saints with 159 kills and tallied 389 total attacks. Her senior leadership helped guide OLLU to the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Tournament title and a berth in the NAIA National Tournament.

During her playing time at OLLU, she averaged 2.34 kills and 6.26 total attacks per game. During the RRAC Tournament Championship Match against University of the Southwest, Ketchens recorded 15 kills and had a .270 hitting percentage.

Ketchens plans to become a physical therapist after graduating

Volleyball and soccer release 2017 schedules

The volleyball, women’s soccer and men’s soccer teams have released their 2017 schedules. The volleyball team, which is looking to build upon back-to-back NAIA Championship Tournament appearances, is set to have 33 matches this season, including 14 Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) contests and 19 nonconference matches. The Saints begin their 11th season Aug. 25-26 by hosting the Second Annual Hotel Indigo at the Alamo Saints Classic.

The women’s soccer team, which closed out its 2016 season ranked No. 25 in the NAIA Women’s Soccer Coaches’ Top 25 Poll, has 19 games on the calendar, including two scrimmages, seven nonconference games and 10 Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) competitions. The Saints will begin their season with the annual Soccer Alumni Weekend Aug. 19-20. They’ll welcome alumni who have played on Saints’ teams between their inaugural 2008 season through last year.

The men’s soccer team has 20 games on the calendar, including three scrimmages, seven nonconference games and 10 Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) competitions. The Saints begin their season on Aug. 16 with a scrimmage against Laredo Community College in Laredo, Texas.

Volleyball loses to Concordia 3-2

Volleyball 9-8-14The volleyball team opened its season today with a loss to Concordia University – Texas. The Saints overpowered the Tornadoes in the first two sets, winning 25-16 and 25-21, but lost the next two 22-25 and 15-25. The Tornadoes won the tiebreaker 15-13 to win the match 3-2. Concordia, a member of the NCAA Division III American Southwest Conference, improved to 3-3. The Saints will play their next match on Sept. 10 when they take on NCAA DII St. Mary’s University at 6 p.m. The match will take place at the St. Mary’s Greehey Arena. Read full article online.