This Weekend in MAC Volleyball

Updated 10/28/2010


Thursday, October 28
Friday, October 29
Saturday, October 30
EMU at CMU, 7:00 PM
Ohio at Kent State, 7:00 PM

Akron at Miami, 7:00 PM
Buffalo at BGSU, 7:00 PM
NIU at Toledo, 7:00 PM
WMU at Ball State, 7:00 PM

Akron at BGSU, 3:00 PM
Buffalo at Miami, 5:00 PM
WMU at Toledo, 5:00 PM
CMU at Kent State, 7:00 PM
EMU at Ohio, 7:00 PM
NIU at Ball State, 7:00 PM


Teams Notes

Akron Game Notes
The University of Akron volleyball team will start their second tour of the east division this weekend heading out on the road to face Miami (OH) and Bowling Green. The match against the RedHawks is slated for 7:00 p.m. while Saturday's contest against BGSU is set for 3:00 p.m. UA is fifth in the conference in digs averaging 15.50 per set. On an individual level, sophomore Chelsea Harvey leads UA in the backcourt sitting sixth in the MAC averaging 4.53 digs per set. Akron is also fifth league wide in hitting percentage striking a .221 through 40 MAC sets. UA is out serving its conference opponents 1.33 SA/S to 1.15 SA/S and out blocking 1.95 B/S to 1.56 B/S. Solid throughout the season on both sides of the ball, junior Courtney Jarvis has been the team leader in kills all year with 248 (3.18 K/S) and is second on the team in digs with 243 (3.12 D/S). Junior Tina Dimitrijevs is third in the league in hitting percentage striking a .346 in conference play. 
Ball State

Ball State Game Notes
Ball State (18-4) enters the week in a three-way tie for second in the MAC West Division after scoring road wins at Miami (3-0) and Bowling Green (3-0) last weekend. Junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl leads the team in kills per set (3.22), hitting percentage (.330), blocks per set (0.89) and service aces (21). Freshmen outside hitters Whitney Heeres and Kylee Baker rank second (3.13) and third (2.88), respectively, on the team in kills per set. In the backcourt, senior libero Alyssa Rio ranks 10th nationally with her 5.57 digs-per-set average. As a team, the Cardinals are out-hitting their opponents .213 to .159 on the year, while holding a 13.61 to 11.32 advantage in kills per set.

Bowling Green

Bowling Green Game Notes
This weekend marks the end of an era as the Bowling Green volleyball team will play its final home matches ever in Anderson Arena. Freshman libero Ashley Dunn has an active streak of 16 consecutive matches with at least 12 digs. She has posted at least 20 digs in five of those contests, peaking with a career-high 26 against both St. Francis (Pa.) and Eastern Michigan. That is the longest string of 12+ dig matches since Chelsey Meek reached that figure in 17 consecutive matches during the 2008 season. In recent history, Bowling Green has thrived in five-set matches, posting a .500 record or better in such contests every year since 2005. Overall, the team is 26-9 in such matches since 2005. This year, Bowling Green is 2-1 in matches that have gone the distance, losing a five-setter to Pittsburgh before winning matches against Eastern Illinois and Buffalo.


Buffalo Game Notes
Buffalo enters the weekend with a record of 14-12 overall and 2-8 in Mid-American Conference play. Junior Heather Pyle has added to her career high for digs in a season this past weekend and now has 234 on the year. That total shatters her previous high of 186. Of
those 234 digs this season, 139 of them have come in conference play. In fact, she is average one more dig per set in conference play than she was in non-conference action.
 Central Michigan

Central Michigan Game Notes
Looking to extend its current four match winning streak Central Michigan hosts Eastern Michigan on Thursday before traveling to Kent State for the final Mid-American Conference divisional crossover match of the 2010 season. The Chippewas (11-11, 5-5 MAC) lost in five sets to the Eagles (21-6, 8-2 MAC) in the previous meeting in Ypsilanti, while the Golden Flashes (10-14, 3-6 MAC) enter the week on a four match skid. CMU ranks fourth in league offense (.237) and defense (.197), third in blocks (2.10) and second in service aces (1.28). Junior Kaitlyn Schultz ranks second in league hitting percentage (.387), eighth in blocks (0.79) and ninth in aces (0.26), and senior Lauren Krupsky ranks second in aces (0.36) and sixth in points (3.99).

 Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan Game Notes
The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team will have a rare split weekend in store, as it travels Thursday, Oct. 28, to Mount Pleasant, Mich. to face instate rival Central Michigan University. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Finch Fieldhouse. Then Saturday, Oct. 30, the Eagles head to Athens, Ohio to tangle with the defending Mid-American Conference Tournament Champions, Ohio University, at 7 p.m. With six 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 an 8-2 record. Northern Illinois sits atop the division with a 9-1 mark. The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team is off to a sensational start to the 2010 campaign with a 21-6 record, that includes winning 68 of its 100 sets played. EMU's 21-6 start is the program's best since the 2002 campaign when the Green and White notched an 19-6 record through its first 27 matches. The 8-2 start to Mid-American Conference play is also the squad's best since the 2005 season. Junior Ashley Mason is now just 71 assists shy of surpassing Gretchen Olsen (1991-94) for fourth place in the EMU record books. Mason has 3,315 assists in 354 career sets played. Meanwhile, junior Haley Stein passed 1,300 in her career and 39 more to pass Sara Schaub (1997-00) for third place with 1,388 digs.

Kent State

Kent State Game Notes
The Kent State volleyball team wraps up its four-match homestand this weekend with a pair of Mid-American Conference showdowns, welcoming Ohio to the M.A.C. Center 7 p.m. Thursday (Oct. 28) and Central Michigan 7:30 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 30). Kent State's tussle with the Bobcats is being featured as the MAC's Game of the Week live on All-MACcess. The Golden Flashes (10-15, 3-7 MAC) are looking to put an end to a four-match losing streak after dropping a heartbreaker to Northern Illinois last Friday (Oct. 22), 3-2, and falling in a 3-0 sweep to Western Michigan the following day. Sophomore Meredith Paskert led the team with 34 kills -- including a career-high 24 against the Huskies.


Miami Game Notes
Miami is in the midst of a five-game homestand. This weekend, the RedHawks host Akron on Friday at 7 p.m. and Buffalo on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Miami RedHawks swept the MAC East Division awards last week. Senior Michele Metzler was named the Offensive Player of the Week, while freshman Madison Hardy was named the Defensive Player of the Week. Metzler averaged 3.43 kills per set in two matches last week and had seven blocks (one solo and six assisted). Hardy set a new career-high with 26 digs against Toledo on Saturday. It was the most digs for any RedHawk since Melissa Zenz had 29 against Northern Illinois on Nov. 21, 2008.
 Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois Game Notes
The Huskies are off to their best start in school history with their 23-2 win-loss mark. NIU is 7-0 on the road this season with its lone loss in conference action being a home setback to Ball State in its MAC opener. Northern Illinois is atop the conference in three categories - attack percentage (.267), kills per set (14.08) and service aces per set (1.73) - and is second with 13.11 assists per set. Freshman OH Lauren Wicinski leads the league with 4.83 kills and 0.58 service aces per set, while junior S Kristin Hoffman ranks second with 11.34 assists per set.


Ohio Game Notes
Ohio (13-10, 5-5) jumps back into play against the MAC EAST on Thursday evening when it travels to take on Kent State (10-15, 3-7). The Bobcats swept the Golden Flashes earlier this season in The Convo, 25-13, 25-17, 25-15. Sue Jacobi led Ohio with 11 kills and hit .391. Mandy Nichols had seven kills and three digs while Katie Post had six kills and two blocks. Michelle Jantsch chipped in with four kills, hit .429, and had a match-high 25 assists. Nicole Staverman and Meryl Bender finished tied for the team lead with seven digs apiece. Overall, Ohio out-killed Kent 38-22 and out-hit them .342 to .013. 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 (12.05), third-lowest number of assists (11.20) and the lowest amount of digs (12.52) per set. 


Toledo Game Notes
Toledo returns home this weekend to face MAC West Division leader Northern Illinois and defending MAC West champ Western Michigan. The Rockets (8-13, 3-7 MAC) will entertain the Huskies (23-2, 9-1 MAC) on Friday, Oct. 29 at 7:00 p.m. followed by a matchup with the Broncos (18-6, 8-2 MAC) on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 5:00 p.m. Freshman OH Lauren Rafdal was the top performer for the Midnight Blue and Gold last weekend, totaling 30 kills and a .265 attack percentage. She tallied a season-best 17 terminations, 13 digs and three aces against Bowling Green and followed that up with 13 kills and a season-high 15 digs vs. Miami. Sophomore MB Bailey Blank also was productive at the net for the Rockets, posting a .400 attack mark on the weekend. Blank tallied a career-high 12 kills against the RedHawks to go along with a team-high .458 ATK%. Sophomore OH Sondra Parys leads Toledo with 3.12 kills per set, while junior RSH Cassie Kleespies possesses a team-high .282 attack percentage. On the defensive side of the net, senior Katie Westerfeld has a team-high 3.73 digs per set with sophomore MB Bethany Irwin tallying a team-best 0.71 blocks per set.
 Western Michigan

Western Michigan Game Notes
The Western Michigan volleyball team plays on the road for the final time in the regular season this weekend when it heads to Ball State on Friday at 7 p.m. and Toledo on Saturday at 5 p.m. The Cardinals and Broncos are part of a three-way tie for second in the MAC West (8-2), one match behind MAC leader Northern Illinois. The Broncos defeated both teams in Kalamazoo, 3-0 & 3-0, to open Mid-American Conference play on Sept. 24-25. Senior outside hitter Allyson Doyle led the way with 3.00 kills, 3.00 digs per set and .421 attacking. Freshman libero Lena Oliver led all players with 5.33 digs per set and junior setter Sam Viox led WMU to .250 attacking behind 11.67 assists per set. Western Michigan is ranked 40th in the official NCAA RPI (highest in the MAC), while also being first in the league in assists and digs. WMU is second in the conference in kills in all matches and first in conference matches.