This Weekend in MAC Volleyball

Updated 11/4/2010


Thursday, November 4
Friday, November 5
Saturday, November 6
BGSU at Miami, 7:00 PM
NIU at WMU, 7:00 PM
Toledo at CMU, 7:00 PM

BSU at EMU, 7:00 PM
KSU at Akron, 7:00 PM
Ohio at Buffalo, 7:00 PM

KSU at Buffalo, 5:00 PM
BSU at CMU, 7:00 PM
Miami at WMU, 7:00 PM
Ohio at Akron, 7:00 PM
Toledo at EMU, 7:00 PM
BGSU at NIU, 7:00 PM


Teams Notes

Akron Game Notes
The Zips snapped a six match losing streak Saturday afternoon when they beat Bowling Green in five sets in the final game at Anderson Arena. With the win Akron moved to 14-10 on the season and 6-6 in the Mid-American Conference. The overall mark tied Akron's win total from the 2009 season and the league wins are the most during the tenure of third year head coach Ron Arenz. Junior Tina Dimitrijevs continued to be a star at the net posting a .444 hitting percentage in nine sets played. Accumulating a team-high 27 kills on 45 attempts, Dimitrijevs' best contest came against the Falcons where she posted 13 kills for a .429 hitting percentage while adding nine blocks.
Ball State

Ball State Game Notes
Ball State (20-4) enters the week in sole possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference standings after scoring wins over Western Michigan (3-2) and Northern Illinois (3-0) last weekend . . . Junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl leads the team in kills per set (3.27), hitting percentage (.335), blocks per set (0.86) and service aces (24) . . . Freshmen outside hitters Whitney Heeres and Kylee Baker rank second (3.12) and third (2.95), respectively, on the team in kills per set . . . In the backcourt, senior libero Alyssa Rio ranks fourth nationally with her 5.78 digs-per-set average . . . As a team, the Cardinals are out-hitting their opponents .218 to .163 on the year, while holding a 13.76 to 11.37 advantage in kills per set.

Bowling Green

Bowling Green Game Notes
Bowling Green plays its final four regular season volleyball matches on the road, beginning with two contests this week. The Falcons play at Miami (Ohio) Thursday night at 7 p.m. and at Northern Illinois Saturday at 7 p.m. While BGSU is currently slotted in the No. 12 spot for the MAC Tournament, the Falcons could leapfrog a handful of teams with a strong finish to the regular season. Freshman libero Ashley Dunn has an active streak of 18 consecutive matches with at least 12 digs. She has posted at least 20 digs in six of those contests, peaking with a career-high 26 against both St. Francis (Pa.) and Eastern Michigan. Junior Madison Nitta has taken over the MAC lead for aces per set in conference matches only by the slimmest of margins. The junior has played in the exact minimum number of league sets to qualify (22-of-44 for 50 percent) and has nine aces, an average of 0.41 per set. That total puts her just ahead of Northern Illinois' Lauren Wicinski, who is averaging 0.37 aces per set.


Buffalo Game Notes
Freshman Carissa McKenna was named the MAC East Defensive Player of the Week after finishing the weekend with 12 blocks, including a career-high seven blocks at Bowling Green. Against the Falcons, she had three solo blocks and four block assists. McKenna continued to shine at Miami (OH), where she added another five total blocks, including a solo. McKenna also added a career-best six kills against the RedHawks. For the first time in school history, the Bulls swept the season series from Miami. It was UB's first win at Millett Hall since 2003. Freshman Christine Fritsche had arguably the best match of her freshman season against Miami as she finished with nine kills and career highs of 16 digs and three service aces.
 Central Michigan

Central Michigan Game Notes
The final home weekend of the regular season has arrived for Central Michigan, who hosts Toledo and Ball State in critical late-season match-ups as teams battle for positioning in the Mid-American Conference tournament set for later this month. The Chippewas (12-12, 6-6 MAC) host the Rockets (10-13, 5-7 MAC) on Thursday and the Cardinals (20-4, 10-2 MAC) on Saturday. CMU boasts the second-best offense during league matches (.242) and the third-best defense (.190), bolstered by the third-most blocks (1.94) and the second-most aces (1.23). Junior Kaitlyn Schultz ranks second in MAC hitting percentage (.375) and eighth in aces (0.28), senior Lauren Krupsky ranks 10th in kills (3.21) and fifth in aces (0.30).

 Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan Game Notes
The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team comes into the weekend with a 22-7 record, that includes winning 72 of its 109 sets played. EMU's 22-7 start is the program's best since the 2002 campaign when the Green and White notched a 23-6 record through its first 27 matches. The 9-3 start to Mid-American Conference play is also the squad's best since the 2005 season. Senior Jenn Swartz became the EMU career leader in sets played earlier this season, she also ranks sixth in the EMU record book with 286 block assists and is 13th with 909 kill and 13th all-time in total attacks at 2,368. Junior Ashley Mason is now 632 assists shy of surpassing Camila Olaio (1998-02) for third place in the EMU record books. Mason has 3,399 assists in 363 career sets played. Meanwhile, junior Haley Stein passed 1,300 in her career and is tied with Sara Schaub (1997-00) for third place with 1,388 digs.

Kent State

Kent State Game Notes
The Golden Flashes (10-17, 3-9 MAC) are looking to end a six-match losing skid. Kent State fell to Ohio, 3-1, last Thursday (Oct. 28) and Central Michigan, 3-0, last Saturday (Oct. 30). Junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) and sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) each posted 18 kills to lead the Kent State offense. Sophomore Kathy Krupa (Burbank, Ill.) was the Flashes' defensive leader with nine blocks (nine assisted) - including a personal season-high six (six assisted) against the Bobcats, which matched her career best (one solo, five assisted) set last season against Buffalo (Nov. 17, 2009).


Miami Game Notes
Miami (9-16, 4-8 MAC) split home matches last weekend, defeating Akron, 3-1, on Friday before being swept by Buffalo on Saturday. The loss to Buffalo was the first time the RedHawks had dropped a match to the Bulls in five years. Miami's Michelle Metzler is the top hitter in the MAC, hitting .404 in conference play and had 18 kills on the weekend to move her career total to 938. The RedHawks allow a conference-worst .268 opponent hitting percentage. Miami will be using its final four regular season games to position itself in the upcoming MAC Tournament. The RedHawks currently are the nine seed and if the tournament began today would travel to eight seed Toledo for a first round match. Miami will be attempting to move up at least one seed position as the fifth through eighth seeds host the MAC First Round matches on Tuesday, Nov. 16.
 Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois Game Notes
Northern Illinois will look to rebound from its first back-to-back losses of the year this week with the second split weekend of the season. As a team, the Huskies are hitting .240 in conference game and rank third in the MAC but are allowing opponents to hit .217 against them. Freshman Lauren Wicinski leads the MAC in kills per game in conference matches with 5.0 and ranks second in the MAC in service aces with 19 total and 0.37 per game. NIU ranks second in the nation in wins (23), 15th in winning percentage (.852), 24th in aces (1.64/set), 29th in hitting percentage (.260), 31st in kills (13.92/set), and 35th in assists (13.01/set). In addition to Wicinski's national presence, the Huskies feature four other players high in the national rankings. Junior setter Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) ranks 19th in assists (11.31/set). Angelos ranks 55th in hitting percentage (.356), while Kurisch ranks 165th (.311). Senior libero Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) stands 105th in digs (4.43/set).


Ohio Game Notes
Ohio (15-10, 7-5) takes its final road trip of the 2010 regular season with visits to Buffalo (15-13, 3-9) and Akron (14-10, 6-6) on Friday and Saturday night. The 'Cats are currently one game ahead of the Zips for first place in the MAC East Division. In conference play, Ohio is holding their opponents to some of the lowest totals across the league. Ohio opponents have the third-lowest number of kills (11.96), second-lowest number of assists (11.08) and the lowest amount of digs (12.42) per set. Ohio is tops in the league with 69 service aces during conference play, 1.44 per set. Nicole Staverman is third, Sue Jacobi is fourth and Katie Post is 10th among all MAC players when it comes to service aces in conference play. Overall, Jacobi leads the team with 29 aces, Staverman is second with 25, Michelle Jantsch has 23 and Post has 22. Mandy Nichols and Meryl Bender have also each recorded double-digit aces on the season.


Toledo Game Notes
Following a weekend of upset wins over Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, Toledo has put itself in place to host a home match in the first round of the 2010 MAC Tournament on Tuesday, Nov. 16. The Rockets (10-13, 5-7 MAC) will begin their season's stretch run this week with road contests at Central Michigan (12-12, 6-6 MAC) on Thursday, Nov. 4 and Eastern Michigan (22-7, 9-3 MAC) on Saturday, Nov. 6. Both matches will begin at 7:00 p.m. Sophomore OH Sondra Parys leads Toledo with 3.08 kills per set, while junior RSH Cassie Kleespies possesses a team-high .289 attack percentage. On the defensive side of the net, senior Katie Westerfeld has a team-high 3.90 digs per set with sophomore MB Bethany Irwin tallying a team-best 0.73 blocks per set. Toledo ranks fourth in the MAC with 16.50 digs per set. Senior L Katie Westerfeld is leading UT with 3.91 dps and is in seventh place in the conference's rankings, while junior Amber DeWeerdt is 10th with 3.45 dps.
 Western Michigan

Western Michigan Game Notes
The two-time defending MAC West Division champions, Western Michigan is 18-8 overall and 8-4 in the MAC. The Broncos dropped a couple of tough matches last weekend. They fell in five sets to conference leader Ball State on Friday, and dropped a 1-3 decision to Toledo on Saturday. WMU is led offensively by sophomore middle hitter Jessica Brown. Last year's MAC Freshman of the Year has 283 kills in 2010, an average of 3.14 per set. Defensively, the Broncos are led by freshman libero Lena Oliver. She has 496 digs on the season, an average of 5.51 per set.