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    Wildcats Welcome Wisconsin & Minnesota to Open Big Ten Play

    Madalyn Shalter leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh in the NCAA in assists.

    Madalyn Shalter leads the Big Ten and ranks seventh in the NCAA in assists.

    Sept. 19, 2012

    Northwestern (11-0, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Wisconsin (12-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
    Friday, Sept. 21
    Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)
    Evanston, Ill. • 7 p.m.
    In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
    Northwestern Match Notes (PDF)

    Northwestern (11-0, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. No. 12 Minnesota (9-2, 0-0 Big Ten)
    Sunday, Sept. 23
    Welsh-Ryan Arena (8,117)
    Evanston, Ill. • 1 p.m.
    In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
    Northwestern Match Notes (PDF)

    EVANSTON, Ill. -- After winning all 11 of their nonconference matches in 2012, the Northwestern Wildcats will turn their attention to Big Ten foes beginning this weekend when the Wisconsin Badgers and 12th-ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers invade Welsh-Ryan Arena.

    The Wildcats open conference play Friday evening against Wisconsin at 7 p.m. After a day off from competition, NU will tangle with Minnesota on its home floor in a 1 p.m. matinee Sunday. Northwestern downed the Badgers, 3-2, on Oct. 29, one night after taking down the then-No. 15 Golden Gophers in three sets.

    Streak Statistics
    With last Friday evening's win against Saint Louis, the current Wildcats surpassed the 1987 squad for the best start in program history. Northwestern's 11-match winning streak is the longest at any point in a season since 1983 when the 'Cats rattled off 12 straight victories between Oct. 19 - Nov. 19. Prior to this year, the Wildcats have had five winning streaks of at least 10 matches, but none since 1994. The longest recorded winning streak in program history is 13 matches, which came in 1981.



    Gimme Shalter
    Northwestern fifth-year senior Madalyn Shalter has been named Big Ten Setter of the Week in each of the last two weeks. In six matches over that span the Ottawa, Ohio, native has handed out 12.05 assists per set while helping the Wildcats claim trophies at the Yale Invitational and the Wildcat Classic. Shalter also averaged 3.43 digs per set and added 15 kills, 13 blocks and eight aces during that time. She is the first player in Big Ten history to win the award in back-to-back weeks and she joins Nebraska's Meghan Haggerty (Freshman) as the only players to win back-to-back honors this season.

    Chin Digging Up The Charts
    Senior libero Julie Chin currently ranks ninth in Northwestern history with 1,182 digs, 36 behind eighth-place Stacey Kammes ('89-'92). Chin passed Carmen Burbach ('97-'00) on Sept. 7 against Brown and Lizzie Carlson ('02-'05) against Cincinnati on Sept. 1. Kate Nobilio ('06-'09), who played under current head coach Keylor Chan, is NU's all-time leader in digs with 2,194.

    Where We Rank ... In The Big Ten
    Five different 'Cats are scattered across six different statistical categories this week. Shalter leads the conference with 11.93 assists per set and ranks ninth with 3.55 digs per set; Chin is 10th with 3.42 digs per set. Stephanie Holthus ranks third with 4.84 points per set and fourth with 4.13 kills per frame. Katie Dutchman, who has only 18 errors all season, ranks fifth with an attacking percentage of .458. The middle blocker is fifth in the Big Ten with 0.43 aces per set, while teammate Savannah Paffen ranks eighth with 0.35.

    Where We Rank ... In The NCAA
    Shalter, Holthus and Dutchman also hold prominent positions in the latest national rankings, which were released Monday. Shalter checks in at seventh in assists per game, while Dutchman is eighth in hitting percentage. Holthus currently ranks 30th in points per set and 32nd in kills.

    Holthus has continued to add to her already-crowded personal trophy case this season. The third-year player was named the tournament MVP for all four events the Wildcats played in this season. All told, Holthus has been named tournament MVP seven times so far as a Wildcat, having also claimed the honor three times as a sophomore - at the Utah Classic, Chicagoland Challenge and Wildcat Classic. In addition she was named to the All-Tournament Team at the 2011 Magnolia Invitational and the 2010 Wildcat Classic.

    [Interview with NU head coach Keylor Chan]

    Reaching For 1K
    Holthus is inching closer to becoming only the 20th player in program history to reach the 1,000-kill mark. Entering Big Ten play, Holthus owns 975 terminations in a Wildcat uniform, including 168 in 11 matches this year. Janine Makar ('85-'88) is Northwestern's all-time leader with 1,666 kills.

    Poll Presence
    The American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) has taken notice of Northwestern's unblemished start. The Wildcats received votes in the weekly poll for the second time this season when the new edition was released Monday. In total, seven Big Ten teams are currently in the top 25, including two in the top 10. In addition to Northwestern, one other team is receiving votes this week, meaning that nine total teams have been recognized by pollsters this week.


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