Oct. 31, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern returns home to play five of its next seven matches at Welsh-Ryan Arena beginning with a pair of Big Ten clashes with Indiana and No. 22 Purdue on Friday and Saturday, respectively.
The Wildcats have tangled with both the Hoosiers and Boilermakers once already this season. In its first Big Ten road trip this season, Northwestern got off to a sluggish start before falling to then-No. 13 Purdue, 3-1. Keylor Chan's squad also dropped the opening set against IU in Bloomington the following night, but rallied to win three in a row to put away the Hoosiers and secure its first Big Ten win of the season.
After playing seven of nine matches at Welsh-Ryan Arena between Sept. 14-Oct. 6, Northwestern faced a stretch where it played five of six contests away from home. The Wildcats opened their long stretch away from home on Oct. 12 with a win at No. 25 Michigan State. NU returned to Evanston to knock off the Iowa Hawkeyes on Sunday, Oct. 21. The segment ended last weekend with a five-set triumph at Wisconsin on Sunday, Oct. 28. Northwestern is 10-4 away from home this season, with its only losses thus far coming at the hands of 13th-ranked Purdue on Sept. 28, (rv) Michigan on Oct. 13, No. 25 Illinois on Oct. 17 and No. 10 Minnesota on Oct. 26.
Paffen Powers The 'Cats
Sophomore Savannah Paffen has emerged over the last six matches to play some of the best volleyball of her Northwestern career. The Mountain View, Calif., native posted career highs in back-to-back matches, including 15 kills at Illinois (10/17) and seven blocks against Iowa (10/21). In that six-match span, Paffen ranks second on NU with 0.97 blocks per set and ranks second with 2.70 kills per set. The sophomore is hitting a team-high .462 during that stretch with 62 kills and 13 errors on 106 attempts.
Fifth-year senior setter Madalyn Shalter recorded the 1,000th dig of her career on Oct. 12 at No. 25 Michigan State, becoming just the 14th player in program history to achieve the feat. The Ottawa, Ohio, native also recorded her 2,000th assist in that match and owns 2,243 career helpers. Shalter needs 67 digs to join the all-time top-10 in that category and could become the first player in program history to rank in the top-10 in both digs and assists. She already joins Liz Renius ('95-'98) as the only Wildcats to record more than 2,000 assists and 1,000 digs.
Finally Going Five
Northwestern became the last team in the Big Ten and one of the last in the country to play a five-set match this season when it went the distance on Oct. 17 at Illinois. The Wildcats had their second maximum-length match this past Sunday at Wisconsin, resulting in their first five-set win since Nov. 11, 2011 against Ohio State at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Entering the week of Oct. 15, Northwestern was one of only six teams nationwide without a five-set match this season.
|[Inside Northwestern Volleyball]|
Big Ten Among The Nation's Best
The Big Ten Conference has proven once again to be one of the deepest leagues in the country. The Big Ten and Pac-12 each have five schools ranked in the top 25 of the AVCA coaches poll this week. Pac-12 leaders Stanford and Oregon are ranked Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, while Big Ten powers Penn State and Nebraska check in at Nos. 3 and 4. Nine Big Ten teams, including Northwestern, have either been ranked or have received votes in the poll at various times this year.
2012: 10-14, 2-10 Big Ten.
Last Week: L at Michigan State (1-3); L at Michigan (0-3).
Head Coach: Sherry Dunbar (Ball State, '93). Sixth season at Indiana (91-100; .476) and 10th overall (204-120; .630).
All-Time Series: Northwestern leads, 34-28.
Last Meeting: Northwestern wins, 3-1 (Sept. 29, 2012)
Notable: The Hoosiers rank second in the Big Ten this season with 1.28 aces per set during conference matches. IU redshirt junior Jordan Haverly is tied for sixth in the league in conference matches with 0.34 aces per set, while junior Melanie Hicks ranks ninth 0.31 aces per frame. Indiana had four aces in the first matchup with the Wildcats this season and Northwestern had seven, led by three from fifth-year senior Madalyn Shalter.
The Wildcats and head coach Keylor Chan invite all local club and school teams to come cheer on Northwestern when it takes on Indiana on Friday, Nov. 2. Teams of 15 or more will receive admission for just $3 per person. After the match all fans are encouraged to stick around for a question-and-answer session with Chan. For tickets call 888-GO-PURPLE.
2012: 16-7, 7-5 Big Ten; ranked 22nd in this week's AVCA coaches poll.
Last Week: W vs. Michigan (3-0); W vs. Michigan State (3-2).
Head Coach: Dave Shondell (Ball State, '81). 10th season at Purdue (207-115; .643) and 10th overall.
All-Time Series: Purdue leads, 48-26.
Last Time: Purdue wins, 3-1 (Sept. 28, 2012)
Notable: The Boilermakers have been remarkably hard to defeat in five-set matches under current head coach Dave Shondell. Purdue has won 12-straight five-setters since Oct. 29, 2010 after knocking off Michigan State in five on Saturday night. Purdue is 41-28 in five-set matches in nine-plus seasons under Shondell. Northwestern has played eight five-set matches against the Boilermakers since 2003 and has a record of 5-3 in those contests. The two teams played five consecutive five-set matches between Nov. 28, 2008 and Nov. 12, 2010.
Northwestern Volleyball invites all area girls, 8th-grade-and-under, to come out to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Saturday, Nov. 3 when the team battles 22nd-ranked Purdue at 7 p.m. After the match, Midnight Madness begins inside the gym. Highlights include team games and prizes with the Wildcats, dinner, autographs and much more. The cost for the entire event is $20 and includes a ticket to the match, dinner, a t-shirt, water bottle, raffle ticket and two vouchers for free admission to any future NU volleyball match. To register, please contact Joe Thuente at 847-467-6862 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more notes and information, please click on the PDF at the top of the page.
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