Nov. 7, 2013
-- For the first time in 2013, Northwestern will be home in back-to-back weekends during Big Ten play as the Wildcats open a four-match homestand on Friday, Nov. 8 when No. 13 Michigan State visits Welsh-Ryan Arena. The 'Cats will host No. 17 Michigan on Sunday, Nov. 10 before wrapping up the stint in Evanston with tilts against No. 14 Purdue and Indiana next weekend.
Alone at the Top
Outside hitter Stephanie Holthus made program history on Saturday, Nov. 2 when she became Northwestern's all-time leader in kills. After opening the season 10th on the all-time list in kills, Holthus surpassed Janine Makar (1985-'88) against Nebraska and now sits on top of the list with 1,673 and counting. Over the weekend, the Burlington, Ill., native also moved past Shelley Brzozowski (1986-'89) and into seventh place on NU's all-time list with 1,262 career digs. Entering this week, Holthus ranks first all-time, just ahead of Erika Lange (2000-03), with 3.74 kills per set in her career.
Protect This House
The Wildcats have done a great job of protecting their home court at Welsh-Ryan Arena this season. The 'Cats are 9-2 in Evanston this season with the wins coming against Columbia, Belmont, Boise State, South Florida, Miami (OH), IUPUI, Iowa, No. 17 Ohio State and (rv) Illinois. Northwestern's lone losses came against 12th-ranked Nebraska on Sept. 27 and No. 4 Penn State on Oct. 20. The 'Cats have reached 11 home wins twice under head coach Keylor Chan, in 2010 and 2007. The school record for 17 home wins in a season belongs to the 1984 Big Ten Champion squad. In 2012, the 'Cats won just five of its 13 home matches.
The Wildcats are facing another challenging schedule in 2013, both in and out of conference play. Eight teams on NU's schedule are ranked in this week's AVCA top 25 coaches poll. Three more squads, Oklahoma, Illinois and Arizona received votes in the latest edition of the poll that was released on Monday. Northwestern will play a total of 19 matches against teams either in the top 25 or receiving votes with 11 complete thus far (Oklahoma, Hawai'i, Nebraska (twice), Michigan, Michigan State, Purdue, Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois and Minnesota). Northwestern has received votes in the AVCA top 25 coaches poll in each of the last three weeks. The Wildcats check in at No. 48 in the latest RPI that was released on Nov. 4.
The Wildcats are looking to pack Welsh-Ryan Arena on Sunday afternoon when it takes on Michigan, a 2012 NCAA Tournament semifinalist. Here's a look at some of the special promotions happening this weekend:
Students, who are always admitted free, will receive FREE pizza and Coke products
Coach Chan will donate $1 to Dance Marathon for every student in attendance to help ignite this year's fundraising effort
Camper Reunion Day
Wildcat Juniors Day
Participants from NU's Cross Country Clinic will receive a free ticket
NU Basketball fans can bring ticket stubs from either Wednesday, Nov. 6 or Saturday, Nov. 9 to gain free admission
1,000 rally towels and 250 t-shirts will be given away
Eight Northwestern sweatshirts will be raffled off during the match
Scouting Michigan State
2013 Record: 18-6, 7-5 Big Ten, ranked No. 13 in this week's AVCA top 25 coaches poll
Series History: Northwestern leads, 33-32
Last NU win: Oct. 12, 2012 at Jenison Fieldhouse (3-1)
Last MSU win: Oct. 5, 2013 at Jenison Fieldhouse (3-0)
Head Coach: Cathy George (Illinois State, '85)
Top Performers: Lauren Wicinski, Sr. OH (4.36 kps, 0.56 bps, 0.43 aces per set); Alexis Matthews, Sr. MB (1.51 bps, 2.20 kps, .426 pct.); Kori Moster, Jr. L (4.61 dps, 0.31 aces per set).
Notable: MSU's Lauren Wicinski is the most active prolific scorer in the NCAA through the course of her career. Wicinski leads all active players with 2,235 kills, a number that is 383 more than her closest competition. Wicinski played for two seasons at Northern Illinois before joining the Spartans prior to the 2012 campaign.
2013 Record: 15-9, 5-8 Big Ten, ranked No. 17 in this week's AVCA top 25 coaches poll
Series History: Michigan leads 39-26
Last NU win: Nov. 16, 2012 at Welsh-Ryan Arena (3-1)
Last MICH win: Oct. 4, 2013 at Cliff Keen Arena (3-1)
Head Coach: Mark Rosen (Cal-State Northridge, '85)
Top Performers: Lexi Erwin, Sr. OH (3.32 kps 2.17 dps, 0.37 bps); Jennifer Cross, Sr. MB (0.99 bps, 2.86 kps, .326 pct.); Tiffany Morales, So. L (3.94 dps, 0.81 aps).
Notable: Michigan has not lost a three-set match all season, posting an 8-0 record. When a match goes to either four or five sets, the Wolverines' record drops to 7-9. U-M has played five-set contests in each of its last two matches, a win over Ohio State on Nov. 2 and a loss at Illinois on Wednesday night.
To view the complete notes package, please download the PDF at the top of the page.
Be the first to know what's going on with the 'Cats -- Follow @NU_Sports on Twitter, become a fan of Northwestern Athletics on Facebook, subscribe to the NU Sports Express e-newsletter and sign up to receive promotional text alerts for the latest news, schedule updates and video and to interact with NU. For more information on following specific Northwestern teams online, visit our Social Media page!