Sept. 19, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern opens a season-long five-match homestand this weekend as it hosts the 32nd Wildcat Classic at Welsh-Ryan Arena, Friday through Sunday. The 'Cats welcome South Florida, Miami (Ohio) and IUPUI as they close their nonconference slate at home.
Straight to the Top
Outside hitter Stephanie Holthus is continuing her ascent to the top of the list in several all-time NU record categories. After opening the season 10th on the all-time list in kills, Holthus surpassed Jessica Holloway (1995-'98) and Stacey Kammes (1989-'92) at the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Volleyball Challenge last weekend and now sits in seventh place with 1,414 kills. The Burlington, Ill., native also moved ahead of Lizzie Carlson (2002-'05) in digs at Hawaii. The senior has an even 1,100 digs and ranks 12th all-time in that category. She currently ranks second all-time behind Erika Lange (2000-'03) with 3.65 kills per set in her career.
|Inside Northwestern Volleyball|
Northwestern has used four true freshmen on the court this season. Newcomers Kayla Morin and Maddie Slater both started the first match of their respective careers at Western Michigan on Aug. 30. Setter Caleigh Ryan made her debut the following day against Oklahoma. All three of the talented youngsters started the tournament finale against Milwaukee on Aug. 31, which turned into the first win of the season for the 'Cats. The trio also started all three matches of the Wildcat Challenge with Ryan earning All-Tournament honors. Classmate Rafae Strobos made her collegiate debut against Arizona on Sept. 12 and earned her first career start the following night against No. 10 Hawai'i. The four freshmen joined Holthus and junior Savannah Paffen in the starting lineup against the Rainbow Wahine.
Chan Chasing Another Milestone
Northwestern head coach Keylor Chan is five victories shy of claiming his 200th as the bench boss of the Wildcats. Northwestern's 3-1 victory over the Yale Bulldogs on Sept. 8, 2012 was the 200th career win as a collegiate head coach for the veteran leader. Chan now owns 195 wins in 14 seasons at NU and another 18 in his one season (1999) as the head coach at Furman. Only Jerry Angle, who led the 'Cats from 1978-93, has more wins in program history with 327.
Wildcat Classic Opponents
South Florida: The Wildcats open play on Friday, Sept. 20 at noon against the talented South Florida Bulls. USF is 5-6 on the season after posting a 1-2 record last weekend at its second home tournament. Sophomore outside hitter Erin Fairs has been enjoying a sensational second season for her team. Fairs leads the Bulls with 3.44 kills per set and 4.39 digs per set. She also ranks second with nine service aces and third with 24 total blocks. USF plays under the direction of second-year head coach Courtney Draper. In 2012, Draper, a native of nearby Lisle, Ill., led the team to five more wins than the previous season and a trip to the BIG EAST semifinals. This is the first meeting between USF and NU.
Miami (OH): The RedHawks invade Evanston as winners of three straight and eight of nine matches overall this season. Miami has used a balanced attack with middle hitter Jenny Ingle and setter/outside hitter Meg Riley doing most of the damage. Ingle has averaged 2.97 kills and 1.06 blocks per set, while Riley has added 2.69 kills and 5.00 assists per game. MU is led by head coach Carolyn Condit, who enters the weekend with 517 career victories in her 30th season at the helm. NU holds a 3-1 edge in the all-time series, including a four-set victory in the last meeting in 2009.
IUPUI: The 2012 Summit League champions come to Evanston this weekend looking to snap its four-match losing skid. The high-powered Jaguars have a pair of players averaging over three kills per set in outside hitters Moriah Fair (3.87) and Kaitlyn Hickey (3.19). The Wildcats are 2-0 all-time against IUPUI with a pair of three-set victories, most recently in 2009. IUPUI is coached by Steve Payne, the reigning Summit League Coach of the Year, who is serving in his 16th season at the helm.
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