Who: Penn State (22-0 overall, 10-0 Big Ten) vs. Ohio State (17-6 overall, 5-5 Big Ten)
Where: Rec Hall
When: 7 p.m. — televised live by the Big Ten Network (Frank Giardina and Elizabeth Moreau).
About the Buckeyes: 5-10 Jr. OH Katie Dull’s 4.57 points per set and 3.94 kills per set averages lead Ohio State, followed by Kristen Dozier’s 2.95 points and 2.44 kills per set averages. 6-1 Fr. OH Emily Danks’ .298 hitting percentage tops the team (Dozier is second at .296). 5-9 Sr. Setter Ashley Hughes was named Co-Big Ten Co-Player of the Week on October 26th, following Ohio State’s 3-1 victories over Purdue (25-19, 23-25, 26-24, 25-18) and Indiana (25-19, 25-22, 23-25, 25-23). Hughes averages 9.65 assists per set (6-0 Fr. Setter Amanda Peterson is second at 9.18, followed by 5-9 Jr. Setter Betsy Hone at 8.13). Peterson leads the Buckeyes with .49 aces per set, followed by Danks at .40. Dozier leads the team with .80 blocks per set, followed by Dull at .58.
About Penn State: During Friday’s Indiana match, ESPNU analyst Karch Kiraly had nothing but praise for Penn State and, in particular, 6-3 Sr. OH Megan Hodge and 6-0 Sr. Setter Alisha Glass, whom he coached for three weeks this past summer when they trained with the U.S. Women’s National Volleyball Team. Kiraly said that during those three weeks, both Hodge and Glass were close to being the best (and may have been the best) player at their respective positions.
They are both great players, but Penn State isn’t a two-person show. 6-5 Jr. Opp. Blair Brown is starting to elevate her level of play (both figuratively and literally), which, as Head Coach Russ Rose often says, is critical if Penn State is going to compete at the highest level. 6-3 Jr. MH Arielle Wilson continues to lead the NCAA in hitting percentage (.586 — are you kidding me? I don’t care who Penn State played, that’s amazing!) and ranks 6th nationally in blocking (6-3 Jr. MH Fatima Balza ranks 15th), 5-9 Jr. Libero Alyssa D’Errico is up to 7th nationally in aces/set, and continues to provide great back row play, as does 5-1 Jr. DS Cathy Quilico. 6-2 Fr. OH Darcy Dorton played a solid match against Purdue after a tough match against Indiana last Friday.
For a statistical comparison of the two teams, and video highlights from their October 7th match at St. John Arena in Columbus OH, go to http://www.dignittanyvolleyball.com/?p=4151