This Weekend in MAC Volleyball

Updated 10/22/2010


Friday, October 22

Saturday, October 23
Ball State at Miami, 7:00 PM
Central Michigan at Akron, 7:00 PM
Eastern Michigan at Buffalo, 7:00 PM
Northern Illinois at Kent State, 7:00 PM

Toledo at Bowling Green, 7:00 PM
Western Michigan at Ohio, 7:00 PM

Toledo at Miami, 5:00 PM
Ball State at Bowling Green, 7:00 PM
Central Michigan at Buffalo, 7:00 PM
Eastern Michigan at Akron, 7:00 PM

Northern Illinois at Ohio, 7:00 PM
Western Michigan at Kent State, 7:00 PM

Teams Notes

Akron Game Notes
The University of Akron volleyball team will continue play against the west division this weekend welcoming Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan to James A. Rhodes Arena. Both matches are slated for 7:00 p.m. The Zips enter the weekend holding onto first place in the Mid-American Conference East Division after sweeping their side to open conference play. UA is fourth in the conference in digs averaging 16.55 per set. On an individual level, sophomore Chelsea Harvey leads in the backcourt also sitting fourth in the MAC with 4.59 digs per set. UA is out serving its conference opponents 1.42 SA/S to 1.07 SA/S and out blocking 2.00 B/S to 1.67 B/S. Posting a 14-18 overall record in 2009 and 5-11 conference record the last two seasons, Akron can tie the overall mark and surpass the conference record this weekend. Junior Tina Dimitrijevs leads the league in hitting percentage striking a .377 in conference play.
Ball State

Ball State Game Notes
The Ball State women's volleyball team returns to the road this weekend to battle a pair of Mid-American Conference East Division foes. Friday, BSU heads to Miami for a 7 p.m. showdown with the RedHawks. Saturday, the Cardinals visit Bowling Green for another 7 p.m. first serve versus the Falcons. Ball State (16-4) enters the week in a three-way tie for second in the MAC West Division after scoring home wins over Ohio (3-2) and Kent State (3-1) last week. Junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl leads the team in kills per set (3.21), hitting percentage (.320) and blocks per set (0.88). Freshmen outside hitters Whitney Heeres and Kylee Baker rank second (2.96) and third (2.85), respectively, on the team in kills per set. In the backcourt, senior libero Alyssa Rio ranks fourth nationally with her 5.72 digs-per-set average. As a team, the Cardinals are out-hitting their opponents .203 to .155 on the year, while holding a 13.41 to 11.20 advantage in kills per set.

Bowling Green

Bowling Green Game Notes
The Falcons enter the weekend with a 7-16 (1-7 MAC) record. BGSU ended a six-match losing streak with a non-conference sweep of Cleveland State Tuesday. Last weekend, the Falcons were swept at both Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. Bowling Green hosts Toledo Friday, before playing the Cardinals Saturday. Paige Penrod leads BGSU with a 3.46 kills-per-set average, while Danielle Tonyan (2.70) and Noelle Spitler (2.09) follow. Ashley Dunn leads the Bowling Green backcourt with a 4.37 digs-per-set average. As a team, BGSU is being out-hit by its opponents .173 to .242, while averaging 12.44 kills per set compared to 12.89 for opposing teams.


Buffalo Game Notes
Freshman Dani Reinert led the Bulls for the final two sets on Friday night against Western Michigan and in addition to her 23 assists on the weekend also added two kills, two digs and tow solo blocks. Senior Marisa Hornbaker had 10 kills against Northern Illinois on Saturday night, while recording just one error in 28 total swings. Hornbaker also added a service aces for the Bulls against the Huskies.
 Central Michigan

Central Michigan Game Notes
Looking to extend its winning streak, Central Michigan travels to face a pair of Mid-American Conference East Division foes Akron and Buffalo this weekend as cross-divisional play continues. The Chippewas (9-11, 3-5 MAC) face the Zips (13-7, 5-3 MAC) on Friday at 7 p.m., and the Bulls (14-9, 2-5 MAC) on Saturday at 6 p.m. CMU ranks fourth in league offense (.225) and eighth in defense (.206), but has surged in the last four matches in both blocks (third, 2.30) and aces (fourth, 1.25). Junior Kaitlyn Schultz ranks fifth in the conference in hitting percentage (.332), senior Lauren Krupsy ranks fifth in aces (0.28) and eighth in kills (3.41) and sophomore Jocelyn VerVelde sits at No. 5 in blocks (0.94). Sophomore Katie Schuette also checks into the top-10 in blocks at No. 8 (0.87).

 Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan Game Notes
After a lengthy home stand, the Eastern Michigan University volleyball team hits the road for five consecutive Mid-American Conference cross-divisional matches. EMU travels to the University at Buffalo, Oct. 22, before battling the University of Akron Saturday, Oct. 23. First serve for both matches is scheduled for 7 p.m. With eight matches still remaining in the regular season, the Eagles are locked in a three-way tie with Ball State and Western Michigan for second place in the MAC West Division with a 6-2 record. Northern Illinois sits atop the division with a 7-1 mark. Junior Ashley Mason is now just 160 assists shy of surpassing Gretchen Olsen (1991-94) for fourth place in the EMU record books. Mason has 3,226 assists in 345 career sets played. Meanwhile, junior Haley Stein needs one more dig for 1,300 in her career and 28 more to pass Becky Baltare (2005-05) for fourth place with 1,327 digs. Rachel Iaquaniello is inching her way towards the career charts list with 779 kills, 483 digs and 51 service aces in 221 sets.

Kent State

Kent State Game Notes
The Kent State volleyball team begins the stretch run of its 2010 season, heading home to the M.A.C. Center to take on Northern Illinois Friday (Oct. 22) and Western Michigan Saturday (Oct. 23) in Mid-American Conference interdivision action. Both contests are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The Golden Flashes will close out the regular season with six of their final eight matches being played at the friendly confines -- including a stretch of four straight at home beginning this weekend.The Golden Flashes (10-13, 3-5 MAC) dropped two contests to MAC West foes on the road last weekend, falling to Toledo, 3-0, on Friday (Oct. 15) and losing to Ball State, 3-1, on Saturday (Oct. 16). Junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) led KSU with a combined 26 kills while sophomore Meredith Paskert added 22. Freshman Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) tallied 58 set assists and also led the way defensively with five blocks (five assisted). Senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) piled up 29 digs.


Miami Game Notes
Miami will look to make its move up the Mid-American Conference standings when it begins a five game homestand over the next three weeks. It starts with a Friday match at 7 p.m. against Ball State. On Saturday, the RedHawks will host Toledo at 5 p.m. The RedHawks lost a pair of road matchups last weekend at Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan. Miami ranks last in the conference in opponent attack percentage at .256 and 10th in hitting efficiency with a .195 mark. The RedHawks' Michele Metzler tops the league with a .401 ATK% in conference matches only.
 Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois Game Notes
On the heels of a highly-successful, but short, cross-divisional home stand that saw Northern Illinois go 2-0 in Mid-American Conference play, the West Division first place Huskies face perhaps the toughest stretch of competition due to a season-long, five-game road trip. The trek starts with two more matches against East Division foes in Kent State and Ohio. In the midst of their third winning streak of the 2010 campaign, the Huskies' seven-gamer will be put to test by the East's second (OU) and third place (KSU) squads, who respectively rank No. 1 (2.50/set) and No. 2 (2.50/set)) in the league in blocks. NIU will look to continue its perfect five-game start on the road against two teams that are a combined 7-6 at home. The Huskies will also be hoping to keep up to astounding records. Their 21-2 overall mark has never been reached in the program's 40-year history, while the 7-1 MAC start has not happened since 2006. NIU ranks at the top of the MAC in hitting percentage, kills, and aces. The Huskies also rank second in assists, fifth in opponent hitting percentage (.175), sixth in digs (14.73/set), and eighth in blocks (1.84/set).


Ohio Game Notes
Ohio (13-8, 5-3) begins the second half of the conference season this weekend who two pivotal matchups with MAC Western Division foes in the Convo. The last few years the Bobcats have been one of the top teams nationally in blocking and this year has been no different. Ohio leads the MAC at 2.85 blocks per set and sits ninth in the nation. National leader Nebraska averages 3.19 per set. The last few years the Bobcats have been one of the top teams nationally in blocking and this year has been no different. Ohio leads the MAC at 2.85 blocks per set and sits ninth in the nation. Post leads the MAC with teammates Lexie Hartnett (83.0) sitting third in the league and Faith Robins (69.0) just outside the top 10 in the MAC. In conference play, Ohio is holding their opponents to some of the lowest totals across the league. Ohio opponents have the second-lowest number of kills (11.64), second-lowest number of assists (10.67), third-lowest number of aces (0.91) and the lowest amount of digs (12.27) per set. Ohio is tops in the league with 48 service aces during conference play, 1.45 per set. Jacobi (14) is second and Nicole Staverman (9) is tied for fifth among all MAC players in conference play when it comes to serving. Michelle Jantsch, second on the team with 22 aces, is just outside the top 10.


Toledo Game Notes
Toledo will hit the road this weekend to face arch-rival Bowling Green and Miami. The Rockets (7-12, 2-6 MAC) will battle the Falcons (6-16, 1-7 MAC) on Friday, Oct. 22 at 7:00 p.m. followed by a match against Miami (7-14, 2-6 MAC) on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 5:00 p.m. Junior OH Cassie Kleespies posted a team-best .471 hitting mark against the Golden Flashes and Bobcats, including a team-high 13 terminations in Saturday's setback to the defending MAC champions. Sophomore OH Sondra Parys was UT's offensive leader against KSU with 15 kills to go along with a .344 attack mark. A 2009 MAC All-Freshman Team member, Parys was hindered by injury and illness in the first half of the 2010 campaign but has started UT's last three matches. Parys leads the Rockets with 3.15 kills per set, including 4.50 kps in the last three matches. In terms of offensive efficiency, Kleespies possesses a team-high .310 attack percentage.
 Western Michigan

Western Michigan Game Notes
The Western Michigan volleyball team continues a three-match week by heading on the road for four consecutive matches beginning this weekend at defending Mid-American Conference champion and 2010 preseason MAC East favorite Ohio on Friday at 7 p.m. and Kent State on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Broncos completed a three-match homestand by winning all three matches against Buffalo (3-0), Akron (3-0) and Notre Dame (3-1). Freshman outside hitter Ali Gossen led the team with 28 kills, while junior setter Sam Viox had one of the best attacking runs of her career with 17 kills and .538 attack percentage, while also contributing 11.40 assists per set. Freshman libero Lena Oliver picked up 6.50 assists per set. The Broncos hit .251 with 15.00 kills per set and 20.30 digs per set. Their opponents were held to 11.20 kills per set on .131 attacking and 16.60 digs per set.