This Weekend in MAC Volleyball

Updated 10/7/2010


Thursday, October 7
Friday, October 8
Saturday, October 9
Akron at Buffalo, 7 PM
Ball State at Toledo, 7 PM

KSU at Miami, 7 PM
NIU at CMU, 7 PM
Ohio at BGSU, 7 PM
WMU at EMU, 7 PM

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

Teams Notes

Akron Game Notes
The first place University of Akron volleyball team (12-4, 4-0 MAC) looks to continue its nine game winning streak this week traveling to Buffalo on Thursday before returning home to face Toledo on Saturday. Both matches are slated for 7:00 p.m. Posting a 14-18 overall record in 2009 and 5-11 conference record the last two seasons, Akron can tie the marks this weekend in just the third span of conference play. As a team, UA is first conference wide in service aces (1.69 SA/S) and fourth in digs 16.06 (D/S) and hitting percentage (.249). Offensively, junior Courtney Jarvis, a two-time MAC Player of the Week, has been the most consistent performer for the Zips leading UA with kills in league play. Just as dominant defensively, Jarvis has also registered 48 digs, which is second for the Zips. Sophomore Chelsea Harvey also a two-time MAC Player of the Week, remains fourth in the MAC in digs averaging 4.52 D/S. On the year, Harvey has amassed 253 digs as the starting libero.

Ball State

Ball State Game Notes
The Ball State women's volleyball team climbed into a four-way tie for first place in the MAC West Division with league wins over Central Michigan (3-1) and Eastern Michigan (3-0) last weekend. In the two wins, the Cardinals limited its opponents to a combined .119 attack percentage. Through its first 16 matches, the Ball State women's volleyball team has tallied a 13-3 overall record, which ties as the best start to a season in program history with the 1973 and 2000 squads. Both squads went on to post wins in their next two matches to improve to 15-3. Entering the week, junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl leads the team in kills per set (3.18), hitting percentage (.326) and blocks per set (0.89). Freshmen outside hitters Kylee Baker and Whitney Heeres rank second (3.00) and third (2.77), respectively, on the team in kills per set. Baker also leads the squad in aces (17) and ranks second in digs per set (2.70). In the backcourt, senior libero Alyssa Rio leads the nation with her 5.95 digs-per-set average. As a team, the Cardinals are out-hitting their opponents .206 to .150 on the year, while holding a 13.56 to 11.25 advantage in kills per set.

Bowling Green

Bowling Green Game Notes
Bowling Green finishes up their homestand with a pair of Mid-American Conference matches this weekend. At 6-12 overall and 1-3 in league play, the Falcons will host Ohio Friday night at 7 p.m. The team then hosts Kent State Saturday at 7 p.m. Ohio sits one game behind Akron in the MAC East standings at 3-1, while Kent State is tied with Bowling Green as part of a four-way tie for third in the East at 1-3. Freshman setter Laura Avila had an eye-popping 54 assists in the Falcons' three-set loss to Western Michigan. That total is the most for any BGSU player in a three-set match in the rally scoring era of collegiate volleyball (since 2001). The all-time school record for assists in a three set match is 63, achieved by Carey Amos in 1991, ironically also against Western Michigan. Freshmen Ashley Dunn has begun a string of double-digit dig performances with an active streak of 10 consecutive matches -- posting at least 12 digs in every one of those contests. She has climbed to sixth in the MAC with 4.10 digs per set and fourth in MAC contests only at 4.60 digs per set. Dunn ranks 15th in digs per set nationally among freshmen.


Buffalo Game Notes
Buffalo enters the week with a 13-7 (1-3 MAC) record after suffering league losses at Kent State (3-2) and at Ohio (3-0) last weekend. Buffalo hosts Akron Thursday before playing the Ball State Saturday. Dana Musil leads UB with a 2.88 kills-per-set average, while Kayla Govier (2.38) and Marisa Hornbaker (2.36) follow. Kelly Svoboda leads the Bulls backcourt with a 3.71 digs-per-set average. As a team, Buffalo is out-hitting its opponents .217 to .130, while averaging 13.22 kills per set compared to 9.59 for opposing teams.

 Central Michigan

Central Michigan Game Notes
The top two offenses in the Mid-American Conference invade Finch Fieldhouse as the Central Michigan volleyball program starts a four match home stand this weekend against Northern Illinois and Western Michigan. The Chippewas (7-9, 1-3 MAC) face the Huskies (17-2, 3-1 MAC) on Friday and the Broncos (12-5, 3-1 MAC) on Saturday. Both matches begin at 7 p.m. CMU ranks No. 7 in league offense (.203) and No. 8 in defense (.229). The Chippewas snapped a four-match skid with a win at Toledo last week. Junior Kaitlyn Schultz sits seventh in conference blocks (0.88/set), Catherine Ludwig ranks ninth in assists (9.18/set) and senior libero Lisa Johnson sits seventh in digs at 3.94 per set.

 Eastern Michigan

Eastern Michigan Game Notes
The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team is off to a sensational start to the 2010 campaign with a 17-4 record, that includes winning 52 of its 71 sets played. EMU's 17-4 start is the program's best since the 2003 campaign when the Green and White notched a 16-4 record through its first 20 matches. The 3-1 start to Mid-American Conference play is also the squad's best since the 2005 season. Just 13 teams have hit better than .100 against the Eagles this season and only five teams have hit better than .200. Eastern Michigan ranks third in the Mid-American Conference with an opponent hitting percentage of .155. For the second time in four weeks, outside hitter Rachel Iaquaniello was named the Mid-American Conference West Division Offensive Player of the Week, the league announced Monday, Oct. 4. Iaquaniello shared the weekly accolade with Northern Illinois University's Lauren Wicinski. Iaquaniello helped power the Eagles to a 2-1 week, averaging 5.00 kills, 2.50 digs and 5.25 points per set, while hitting .277 (50-14-130).

Kent State

Kent State Game Notes
The Kent State volleyball team can get itself right back into the thick of the Mid-American Conference East Division race when it begins a four-match road stretch by meeting up with Miami Friday (Oct. 8) and Bowling Green Saturday (Oct. 9). Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. The Golden Flashes (8-11, 1-3 MAC) split two home matches against East Division foes last weekend at the M.A.C. Center. KSU earned its first MAC win of the season and put a stop to a three-match losing skid by toughing out a 3-2 triumph over Buffalo last Friday (Oct. 1). Junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) has set the tone for both the offensive and defensive attacks for Kent State. She is pacing the team with 248 kills (3.40 per set), 15 service aces and 77 blocks (seven solo blocks, 70 assisted; 1.05 per set). Her kills per set mark is good for sixth in the MAC while her blocks per set ranks second. Brivule also leads the team with eight double-doubles this season, including two last weekend after totaling 14 kills and 14 digs against the Bulls and 20 kills and 12 digs against the Zips. She also achieved the feat Sept. 25 at Eastern Michigan (12 kills, 11 digs), Sept. 10 vs. Morgan State (15 kills, 10 digs), Sept. 14 at Youngstown State (14 kills, 11 digs), Sept. 17 against Duquesne (22 kills, 11 digs) and Sept. 18 against Louisiana Monroe (11 kills, 11 digs) and Syracuse (20 kills, 14 digs).


Miami Game Notes
The five set loss to Northern Illinois broke a five match winning streak for the RedHawks in five set matches. The last time Miami dropped set five was Dec. 5, 2008 in the NCAA Tournament first round game against Middle Tennessee State. Amy Raseman had a career-high 18 kills against Northern Illinois on Sunday. She now has 165 kills on the season to lead the RedHawks. In her first two years, she had 100 kills combined.
 Northern Illinois

Northern Illinois Game Notes
The Huskies broke through with three achievements that hadn't been seen since 2006. First, NIU topped three-time defending MAC West champions Western Michigan for the first time in four years with a five-set home win on Thursday. Second, the Huskies earned a win in their first road conference match for the first time in four years by earning a five-set victory over Miami (Ohio). Third, the Huskies moved to 3-1 in league play for the first time since 2006. With the successful week, NIU extended its league winning streak to three matches and improved to 2-0 on Sundays, while also going 5-2 on its season-long home stand. Freshman outside hitter Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) totaled a team-best 47 kills (4.70/set) and .321 attack percentage, while also adding 18 digs (1.80/set), two aces, and four blocks for 52 points (5.20/set). In holding opponents down to a .216 attack percentage, senior libero Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) totaled 49 digs (4.90/set) and had only two errors in 46 serve reception attempts.


Ohio Game Notes
The Bobcats split their contests over the weekend, losing in five sets to Akron and sweeping Buffalo. The contest against the Zips saw Ohio's 12-game home winning streak against MAC opponents snapped, as well as the team's 11-match winning streak against MAC teams. It was the first loss to Akron since 2003 and it was the first five-set match at home against a MAC rival since October 11, 2008. Overall, Sue Jacobi led Ohio with 18 kills and four other Bobcats finished with 10 or more kills. Katie Post had 14, Faith Robins finished with 12 and both Mandy Nichols and Lexie Hartnett ended with 10 apiece. Michelle Jantsch finished with a match-high 53 assists and hit .556 with six kills while Hartnett hit .368. Post and Jacobi dominated play against Buffalo with 29 of the team's 43 kills on the evening. Post racked up 15 kills and hit .545, while Jacobi picked up 14 kills and also hit .545. The two of them, along with Lexie Hartnett, all finished with a match-high four blocks. Michelle Jantsch finished with a match-high 33 assists and Meryl Bender had a match-high eight digs. Ohio is now 24-1 all-time vs. the Bulls.


Toledo Game Notes
The schedule for Toledo (5-10, 0-4 MAC) doesn't get any easier this week as the Rockets attempt to snap their eight-match losing steak. UT begins its weekend a day earlier than normal when it hosts Mid-American Conference West Division co-leader Ball State (13-3, 3-1 MAC) on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 7:00 p.m. The Rockets will then make a short trip to Akron, OH to battle MAC East Division frontrunner Akron (12-4, 4-0 MAC) on Saturday, Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m. UT dropped a pair of home contests last weekend to MAC West foes Eastern Michigan (3-1) and Central Michigan (3-0). The Rockets were competitive throughout and had good opportunities to win three more sets. Junior S Kassie Kadera is quarterbacking Toledo's offense and ranks fourth in the MAC with 10.35 assists per set. Senior libero Katie Westerfeld has averaged 3.91 digs per set and ranks seventh in the conference.

 Western Michigan

Western Michigan Game Notes
The Western Michigan volleyball team continues a four-match Mid-American Conference road swing by facing both of its in-state rivals. The Broncos are in a four-way tie for first place in the MAC West and face one of the other co-leaders, Eastern Michigan (16-5, 3-1 MAC), on Friday at 7 p.m. The Broncos then head to Central Michigan (7-9, 1-3 MAC) on Saturday at 7 p.m. Senior outside hitter Allyson Doyle accounted for a kill on each of her first nine swings and finished with 14 kills and a career-high .684 attack percentage at IUPUI (9/4). That mark is the highest in the Mid-American Conference this season for a player with 12 kills or more. Doyle is steadily moving up the WMU career charts in kills, digs and blocks. With three double-doubles this season, Doyle is second all-time with 38. She has moved into fourth in career digs (1,418) and seventh in career block assists (296). Viox is first in the MAC and ninth in Division I with 11.79 assists per set as WMU is hitting .236 as a team, which is second in the league and 65th in the country. She has increased her MAC-leading assists to 13.36 per set in conference play. Five players have tallied 100 or more kills with Viox running the show.