Nov. 14, 2012
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Northwestern opens its final homestand of the season this weekend when it welcomes the Michigan Wolverines and Michigan State Spartans to Welsh-Ryan Arena on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Though currently unranked, both opponents are receiving votes in this week's AVCA Top 25 Coaches poll.
Northwestern boasts seven true or redshirt sophomores on its current roster or 54 percent of the squad. That group has accounted for 64 percent of NU's kills this season and 73 percent of the team's total blocks. Yewande Akanbi leads the sophomores and ranks second on the team with 2.50 kills per set, while team captain Katie Dutchman has collected a team-high 0.95 blocks per set. Dutchman also leads the entire team in hitting percentage (.254) and aces per set (0.30).
Holthus Joins 1K Club Against Gophers
On Sept. 23 against Minnesota, junior outside hitter Stephanie Holthus buried the 1,000th kill of her career in a Northwestern uniform. The Burlington, Ill., native is currently ranked 12th on NU's all-time list with 1,211 kills. Holthus needs 36 kills to pass Alison Krumbein ('91-'94) and move into 11th place. Janine Makar ('85-'88) is Northwestern's all-time leader with 1,666 kills. Holthus became the 20th player in program history to accomplish the feat and the first since former teammate Sabel Moffett ('07-'10), a 2010 All-American, did so on Oct. 29, 2010, also against
|[Inside Northwestern Volleyball]|
Four Is Favorable
The Wildcats have posted their best winning percentage this season in four-set matches.
Northwestern is 9-4 (.692) in four-set matches with its only losses coming vs. Wisconsin, No. 12 Minnesota, No. 13 Purdue and No. 15 Ohio State. The Wildcats are 5-7 (.417) in three-setters and 1-1 (.500) when matches have gone the distance.
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 2,369 career helpers. Shalter needs 41 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 on Oct. 28 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 on its ledger this season.
Senior libero Julie Chin currently ranks fifth in Northwestern history with 1,360 digs, 49 behind fourth-place Jennifer Jostes ('88-'91). After opening the season 11th on the list, Chin passed Lizzie Carlson ('02-'05) on Sept. 1 against Cincinnati, Carmen Burbach ('97-'00) on Sept. 7 against Brown, Stacey Kammes ('89-'92) on Sept. 29 at Indiana, both Kathy Burns ('84-'87) and
Shelley Brzozowski ('86-'89) against Penn State on Oct. 5 and Jessica Holloway ('95-'98) vs. Purdue on Nov. 4. Kate Nobilio ('06-'09), who played under current head coach Keylor Chan, is NU's all-time leader in digs with 2,194.
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 for the third straight week. Pac-12 leader Stanford is ranked No. 1, while Big Ten power Penn State checks in at No. 2. Nine Big Ten teams, including Northwestern, have either been ranked or have received votes in the poll at various times this year. Both of this week's foes, Michigan and Michigan State, are receiving votes this week.
2012: 21-9, 9-7 Big Ten, receiving votes in this week's AVCA coaches poll.
Last Week: W vs. Wisconsin (3-0); W vs. No. 10 Minnesota (3-0).
Head Coach: Mark Rosen (Cal State Northridge, '85). 14th season at Michigan (282-173; .620) and 20th overall (491-211; .699).
All-Time Series: Michigan leads, 39-26.
Last NU Win: Nov. 6, 2009 (3-1).
Last UM Win: Oct. 13, 2012 (3-0).
Notable: With a straight-set victory over Wisconsin on Nov. 9, the Wolverines secured their 20th victory of the season. Michigan has now won at least 20 matches for the 14th time in program history and for the seventh straight season under head coach Mark Rosen. The team won a record 27 matches in 2009, a year in which they reached the Elite 8 for the first time in school history.
Scouting Michigan State
2012: 21-7, 9-7 Big Ten; receiving votes in this week's AVCA coaches poll.
Last Week: W vs. No. 10 Minnesota (3-1); W vs. Wisconsin (3-0).
Head Coach: Cathy George (Illinois State, '85). Eighth season at Michigan State (142-111; .561) and 26th overall (507-335; .602).
All-Time Series: Northwestern leads, 33-30.
Last NU Win: Oct. 12, 2012 (3-1).
Last MSU Win: Nov. 19, 2011 (3-2).
Notable: While coaching at Texas-Arlington, MSU head coach Cathy George became the first women to coach in the NCAA Division I Final Four in 1989. She has been named conference coach of the year six times throughout her career and in 1988, the Illinois State graduate, was selected as the NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year while leading North Dakota State.
For more notes and information about this weekend's matches, please click the PDFs in the table above.
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