Oct. 28, 2008
Northwestern Volleyball Weekly Release - Oct. 28
Northwestern begins the second half of its 2008 Big Ten Conference schedule in Madison, Wis., taking on the 25th-ranked Badgers on Wednesday, Oct. 29. The Wildcats then return to Welsh-Ryan Arena to welcome Michigan State Saturday, Nov. 1. Both matches get underway at 7 p.m.
Wildcats Return to Big Ten Network
Northwestern's match against Wisconsin marks the second time this season the Wildcats will get national exposure on the Big Ten Network. The first meeting between the two rivals was also aired on the network, and NU will make one more appearance when it takes on Ohio State in Columbus on Nov. 8.
`Cats on the Web
Fans unable to make the trip to Evanston for this Saturday's match against Michigan State will still be able to follow every serve. Live video streaming will be available by clicking on the video icon on the volleyball schedule page at NUSports.com. Live match stats will also be available.
25th-ranked Wisconsin sits at 14-8 on the year and are 4-6 in Big Ten play, having dropped their last four matches. The Badgers have one of the top hitting percentages in the conference, sitting third at .239. Individually, Wisconsin has been lead offensively by Brittney Dolgner's 247 kills with Audra Jeffers right behind at 195 while also hitting .321. Jeffers ranks ninth in the Big Ten in blocks at 1.09 per set, notching 88 on the year, with Elle Ohlander adding 63 blocks of her own. The Badgers have used the two setter combo of Nikki Klingsporn and Janelle Gabrielsen through the season, averaging 6.14 and 5.53 assists per set respectively. Libero Kim Kuzman is sixth in the Big Ten in digs at 4.26 per set. Head coach Pete Waite is 242-75 (.763) in his 10th season in Madison, with an overall record of 508-177 (.742) in his 21 seasons as a head coach.
Scouting Michigan State
Michigan State comes into Evanston with an 11-10 overall record and is 3-7 in conference play having lost five straight matches since its five-set victory over the Wildcats on Oct. 10. The Spartans have been one of the top teams in the conference in kills, ranking third at 13.80 per set, and are led by Vanessa King's 223 on the season. Becca Zlabis (185), Jenilee Rathje (173) and Kyndra Abron (153) have also tallied double-digit kills for MSU. King has also proven to be a defensive threat at the net, leading the team in blocks with 95 with Natalie Emro adding 52 of her own as well. Emro has also been one of the top assisters in the Big Ten, ranking fourth at 10.53 assists per set. Libero Allyson Karaba currently sits fifth in the conference in digs, averaging 4.26 per set. Head coach Cathy George is in her fourth season at the helm of the Spartans, posting a 63-54 (.538) record, with a career record of 428-278 (.606) in 22 years of coaching.
Northwestern and Wisconsin meet for the 68th time on Wednesday with the Badgers holding a 42-25 series advantage, including a 3-1 victory over the Wildcats in Evanston back on Oct. 8. That victory extended Wisconsin's win streak over the Wildcats to nine-straight matches. The Badgers have been equally tough against the `Cats at Wisconsin Field House, where they have won the last 21 meetings against NU, dating back to 1986. The Wildcats and Spartans meet for the 56th time Saturday with Northwestern holding a 30-25 lead in the series. Michigan State rallied to take a five-set victory over the Wildcats in East Lansing on Oct. 10. The Spartans are 4-4 in their last eight trips to Evanston.
Nobilio Becomes Just Second Wildcat to Reach 1,500 Dig Mark
Junior Kate Nobilio continues to establish herself among the all-time greats, as with her 22 against Indiana on Friday she became just the second player in Wildcat history to reach the 1,500-dig plateau. Including the nine she tallied against Penn State, Nobilio's career total sits at 1,512, second on the all-time digs list and just 146 digs shy of Christie Gardner's all-time mark of 1,658. If she continues at her current pace of nearly 18 digs per match, Nobilio is on pace to become the Wildcats' all-time digs leader during the final homestand of the 2008 season.
Glab Just Shy of Joining Exclusive 2,000 Assist Club
Sophomore Elyse Glab has already made her presence felt in the short time she has been in Evanston, as with her 70 assists against Indiana and Penn State she upped her career total to 1,998, ranking ninth on the all-time list and closing in on eighth-place Stephanie Jurivich's 2,108. Glab continues to inch closer to becoming just the ninth Wildcat to record 2,000 digs for her career, needing just two more to reach that milestone.
For the complete weekly release, please click on the PDF link above.