The purpose of Homecoming is to get alumni back to the school to see the campus and meet the students. The Blackburn Volleyball team took this a step further and hosted a group of former players who also wore the Red-and-Black during their college career.
“It was great fun,” said head coach Jim Hunstein. “We called it the ‘Stars of Today’ versus the ‘Legends of Yesterday’ and I think everyone had a good time. I’m glad the two sides got to know each other.”
The alumni team was comprised of mostly fairly recent grads, from just last year all the way back to 2005. Kristen (Beaver) Beichler took on the task of recruiting players for the alumni team and came through with flying colors. She found eight other players plus a coach in Kaleena (Lewison) Fish, who was pregnant and couldn’t play.
“We talk about all the work done by students in the past to make Blackburn what it is,” Hunstein said. “It was great to see all those players who worked hard over the years to make the volleyball program what it is.”
All five of the single-season digs leaders were playing, including Marlee Lindstrom (who has the top 3), Emily Johnston, and Kaleena Lewis Fish. Those three are also the top three career digs leaders, followed by current player Lexi Dick at number four.
Following are the alumni who came to play, when they played, and a little about their accomplishments while representing Blackburn.
Stacey (O’Loughlin) Atienza (2003-2006) Career assists leader with 1,286; Single season assists leader 787 in 2003; Team leader in assists in 2003 & 2004 and in aces in 2005 with 18
Kristen (Beaver) Beichler (2006-2009)
Brandy (Wayne) Brown (2003, 2004)
Emily Johnston (2006-2009) All-Academic Honors in 2006-2009; Career aces leader with 86, Second in career kills with 555, second in career digs with 938; second in single-season aces with 40 in 2008 and fourth in digs with 399 in 2007; Team leader in kills in 2008 & 2009 as well as aces in 2008 and digs in 2007
Marlee Lindstrom (2014-2016) SLIAC Defensive Player of the Week in 2015; Career digs leader with 1,369; Three-time single season digs leader
Patrece McLain (2012-2015) All-Conference Sportsmanship in 2013; Fourth in career assists with 845; Team leader in assists in 2013-2015
Amanda Miller (2010-2013) Third in career assists with 865
Morgan Stein (2012)
Kate (Rudd) West (2006, 2007) All-Academic Honors in 2006 & 2007
Coach: Kaleena (Lewison) Fish (2004-2006, 2009) All-Conference First Team in 2005 & 2006, Second Team in 2007; third in career digs with 918; Fifth in single-season digs with 391 in 2008; Team leader in digs all 4 years