by Jen Armson-Dyer
The Women’s Division I season continues to thrill as teams find their personalities and strides heading into the third week of the competitive season. Here’s a look at some interesting match-ups this week – including some for in-state bragging rights.
#3 UCLA (3-1) vs. #9 Hawai'i (5-1)
The Bruins travel to the islands for a Sunday night match-up with the Rainbow Wahine (5:00 p.m. HT) – a series that has been played at least once a season since 1974, the first year of the program at Hawaii. The Wahine lead the all-time series 36-33 but the Bruins claimed a four-set victory a year ago. Rachael Kidder and Tabi Love lead UCLA with 3.40 and 3.31 kills per set, respectively, as Bojana Todorovic tops the defense with 42 digs and Zoe Nightingale leads the blocking chart with 19 total blocks. Hawaii, looking to rebound after a five-set loss to Cal last weekend, is led by Emily Hartong with 4.45 kills per set, Alyssa Longo with 67 total digs and Kalei Adolpho with 25 total blocks. Live stats can be found at http://www.sidearmstats.com/hawaii/wvball/scoreboard.aspx and other multi-media information can be found here: http://hawaiiathletics.com/news/2012/9/3/WVB_0903124618.aspx?path=wvball
#4 Texas (5-1) vs. #14 Minnesota (5-0)
The Longhorns welcome the Golden Gophers to Austin for consecutive matches on Thursday and Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT each night. It will be the first road trip for new Minnesota head coach Hugh McCutcheon, who joined the team on Aug. 30th after completing his coaching responsibilities with USA Volleyball earlier this month, coaching the women’s team to a silver medal at the London Olympics. Texas, looking to get back on track after a 3-0 sweep at Penn State last weekend, is led by Haley Eckerman with 4.39 kills per set, Sarah Palmer with 66 total digs and Khat Bell with 18 total blocks. For Minnesota, Katherine Harms leads the team with 4.31 kills per set as Ashley Wittman tops the defense with 60 total digs and Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week Tori Dixon tops the blocking list with 19 total stuffs. Both matches will be televised on the Longhorn network and will also have Gametracker and live audio, with links found here: http://www.texassports.com/sports/w-volley/sched/tex-w-volley-sched.html
#5 Southern California (6-0) vs. #17 San Diego (3-1)
The Women of Troy host the Toreros Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Galen Center at the USC Classic, which also features Notre Dame and Cal Poly. The last meeting between the two teams was a 3-1 USC win on Dec. 4, 2010 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Katie Fuller leads the way for USC with 4.28 kills per set while Natalie Hagglund tops the defense with 99 total digs and Natasa Siljkovic heads the blocking list with 15 total blocks. For San Diego, Katie Hoekman leads the squad with 2.75 kills per set and nine blocks as Kandiss Anderson paces the defense with 38 total digs. Gametracker and audio can be found at http://www.usctrojans.com/sports/w-volley/sched/usc-w-volley-sched.html
#6 Florida State (6-0) vs. Miami (6-1)
The Seminoles travel to Coral Gables, Fla., for a Friday matchup with Miami at 7:30 p.m. ET in a contest that will be broadcast on ESPNU. Florida State leads the all-time series 20-16-1 but each of the last two years the teams split the series. The Seminoles start the season at 6-0 for the first time since 2000 and are led by Fatma Yildirim with 2.84 kills per set, Katie Mosher with 74 total digs and Ashley Neff with 40 total blocks. The Hurricanes are led by Taylor Hollins with 4.00 kills per set, Ryan Shaffer with 128 total digs and Alexis Mourning with 31 total blocks.
#10 Dayton (6-0) vs. Ohio State (5-1)
Reaching its highest ranking in program history, the Flyers and Buckeyes face off on Friday at 10:00 a.m. ET in Bowling Green, Ky. Ohio State leads the all-time series 11-9, including a five-set win in the second round of the 2010 NCAA Tournament. Rachel Krabacher leads Dayton with 4.55 kills per set as Janna Krafka tops the defense with 96 total digs and Isolde Hannan heads the blocking list with 30 total stuffs. Mari Hole leads the Buckeyes with 4.23 kills per set as Davionna DiSalvatore tops the defense with 77 total digs and Emily Danks and Mariah Booth both have contributed 15 total blocks to lead the squad. Links to audio can be found here: http://www.daytonflyers.com/womens/volleyball/schedule/
#18 Iowa State (2-3) vs. #25 Northern Iowa (4-2)
The Cyclones and Panthers meet up on Wednesday night in Iowa State’s home opener at 6:30 p.m. CT. UNI leads the all-time series 26-23, including a three-game sweep of Iowa State last season. The Cyclones, fresh off a five-set victory at Illinois last weekend, are led by Mackenzie Bigbee with 3.29 kills per set, Kristen Hahn with 90 total digs and Tenisha Matlock with 14 total blocks. Northern Iowa is led by Amy Braun with 3.16 kills per set, MVC Defensive Player of the Week Candice Burke with 79 total digs and Shelby Kintzel with 24 total blocks. Links to video and live stats can be found here: http://www.cyclones.com/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=10700&SPID=4251&SPSID=46653 and links to audio can be found here: http://www.unipanthers.com/SportSelect.dbml?&DB_OEM_ID=26200&SPID=90713&SPSID=627864
We can’t wait to see the results of these and all of the important matches this weekend!