Match Previews: Miami, Pittsburgh, and UNH

The Penn State Women’s Volleyball team (1-1) travels to the University of Pittsburgh’s Fitzgerald Field House (pictured above) for the two-day University of Pittsburgh Invitational, which opens on Friday.  The Nittany Lions will face Miami (Ohio, not Florida) on Friday September 2nd at 11 a.m (you can follow on GameTracker), followed by a 7:00 pm match against host-Pitt Friday evening (follow on GameTracker).  Penn State’s third match in the tournament will be Saturday at 10:00 am against the University of New Hampshire (follow on GameTracker). 

We asked RaymondLuxuryYacht about the upcoming matches.  Here are his comments:

I know little about the opponents, other than I’d be surprised to see PSU drop a game, unless Russ is interested in experimenting with his line-up, and NOT bailing out the players on the court if they happen to get themselves into trouble.On the other hand, these are not the same calibre teams as Oregon and USC, and there is little risk in playing with the line-up, and tweaking it a bit.A. Scott was much more effective as a hitter against Oregon from the right side than she was against USC from the left. Although I don’t think she blocked well from either position, she certainly was not effective at RS.

Kabbes had a career night blocking at RS against USC, but was ineffective at any of the hitting positions either night.

I think Russ will try to work Scott into the RS position, and Maddie Martin into LS, and hopefully we’ll see Dorton start to get some court time at LS.

With the emergence (and success) of Hancock last weekend at setter, and Carp taking over libero duties, I think Russ will hold those positions. Slay looks to be much more suited to MB2, hitting more middle and combination sets, while Nia Grant could be MB1 (next to the setter), and become PSU’s next slide hitter.

All the DS’s will continue to see work – and perhaps we’ll see someone else play libero so that Carp can fit into the setting rotation. It’s always possible that Russ could experiment with a 6-2 (Hancock 6 rotations, Carp 3 rotation). After all, he has two competent setters, one of which just happens to have a National Championship.

These matches serve as a tune-up for the Nike Big 4 next week.  I think Russ will use the first two matches to finalize his line-up, and the last match will be what we’ll see at the Nike Big 4.

Quick Look: Penn State

Penn State fans are hoping that the Nittany Lions will build on their 3-2 victory over Southern Cal this past Saturday.  Or, as Gordon Brunskill of the Centre Daily Times put it in an article posted on August 29th, that second impressions of the team (Saturday) will prevail over first impressions (from Friday):

UNIVERSITY PARK — What’s that cliché about first impressions? The first impression of the Penn State women’s volleyball team was, well, lousy. Sure they had talent, and sure they were going to get better. Still, the way the No. 1 Nittany Lions played Friday night, you had to be concerned. The second impression more than made up for the first.  Against No. 2 Southern California, they were a vastly different team from the one that had lost 3- 1 to Oregon 24 hours earlier.

For the complete article, Click Here.

Here are some individual and team statistics for Penn State through August 28, 2011:


Attack Leaders - 2011

18McClendon, DejaSo.12233334323.541441090.264
1Scott, ArielSo.11833314183.541361083.260
16Slay, KatieSo.12233332572.1163502.386
14Whitney, AiyanaFr.652401131.7451320.194
6Martin, MaddieSo.9833241411.4460410.198
7Grant, NiaFr.11732321511.2944309.346
12Hancock, MichaFr.12133321100.9134246.309


Set/Serve Leaders - 2011

12Hancock, MichaFr.1213332127510.54910.7576
23Longo, AliSo.117330900.77320.2730
5Carpenter, KristinJr.100334760.76140.1437
4Gonzalez, DominiqueFr.84296190.2380.1021
33Fuller, LaceyFr.6730040.0670.106


Recept/Dig Leaders - 2011

#Name ClassSPMPMSREDigDig/Set
23Longo, AliSo.117330193973.39
12Hancock, MichaFr.121333242792.31
18McClendon, DejaSo.1223333222452.01
5Carpenter, KristinJr.100334121821.82
6Martin, MaddieSo.983324211561.59
4Gonzalez, DominiqueFr.84296101231.46
33Fuller, LaceyFr.6730013590.88


Blocking Leaders - 2011

16Slay, KatieSo.1223333271461731.42113
7Grant, NiaFr.117323213941070.9140
1Scott, ArielSo.1183331581860.7321
18McClendon, DejaSo.12233331348610.5063
12Hancock, MichaFr.1213332554590.49919

Quick Look: Miami University

Miami University is undefeated in four matches, its best since 1999, when it opened with five straight victories.  Miami is led on defense by5-11 So. L Madison Hardy, who has averaged 4.86 digs per set so far this season. She was named MVP for last weekend’s Quality Inn/ASICS Classic Tournament, and was joined on the Alll-Tournament Team by 6-0 Sr. MH Cassie Farrell and 5-11 Sr. OH Jenn Caylor.

Here’s Miami’s 2011 Team Roster: 

No. Name Ht. Pos. Year Hometown High School


Jenn Caylor 5-11 OH SR Dayton, Ohio Centerville


Sarah Chaney 6-1 OH FR Middletown, Ohio Madison


Tori Clifford 5-3 L FR Glen Ellyn, Ill. Glenbard West


Kayleigh Cox 6-1 MH SO Freeburg, Ill. Freeburg


Madison Dodd 5-11 OH SO Waterloo, Ill. Waterloo


Cassie Farrell 6-0 MH SR Columbus, Ohio Bishop Watterson


Madison Hardy 5-11 DS/OH SO Louisville, Ky. Mercy Academy


Jenny Ingle 6-5 MH FR Ludlow Falls, Ohio Brookville


Amy Kendall 6-1 S JR Glen Ellyn, Ill. Glenbard West


Jackie Lang 5-10 L RS SO Wexford, Pa. North Allegheny


Colleen Loftus 5-11 OH SR Commerce Township, Mich. Mercy


Christina Menche 5-11 OH JR Hamilton, Ohio Hamilton


Amy Raseman 6-0 OH RS SR Barrington, Ill. Barrington


Meg Riley 6-1 S FR St. Louis, Mo. Cor Jesu Academy


Lisa Treadway 5-10 L/OH JR Dayton, Ohio Chaminade Julienne


Chelsea Visk 6-2 MH FR Salem, Wis. Westosha Central

Quick Look: Pittsburgh

The host Panthers also are undefeated, having gone 4-0 last weekend in the Pitt Panther Invitational (not to be confused with the University of Pittsburgh Invitational, which starts tomorrow.)  [Editor’s Note: If anyone asks, we think Pitt needs more distinct names for its tournaments.]

Key players for Pitt include 6-2 So. OH Monica Wignot, who was named the tournament MVP last weekend after registering 43 kills, 29 digs and three blocks,  5-11 Fr. S Lindsey Zitzke, who was named the Big East Freshman of the Week, and 6-3 Sr. MB Kiesha Leggs and 5-6 Jr. L Margy Actonboth of whom were named to the All-Tournament team (as was Wignot).

Here’s Pitt’s 2011 Team Roster:


12 C

Acton, Margy 5-6 LIB JR Elmhurst, Ill./Lehigh


Campbell, Alexa 5-10 OH JR Macungie, Pa./Emmaus


Clesen, Delaney 5-8 LIB FR Evanston, Ill./Evanston Township


Congemi, Cassandra 5-9 OH/DS FR Weston, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas

17 C

Dittrich, Jasmine 5-11 MB JR Rochester, Minn./Minnesota


Guess, Mechael 5-11 OH/MB FR Louisville, Ky./DuPont Manual


Hartman, Lauren 6-0 MB SR Baldwinsville, N.Y./Charles W. Baker

19 C

Leggs, Kiesha 6-3 MB SR Stockton, Calif./San Joaquin Delta


Nicholas, Maria 5-4 S/DS SO Gibsonia, Pa./Pine-Richland


Phillips, Alex 5-10 OH JR Homewood, Ala./Homewood


Walker, Michelle 6-1 OH JR Pittsburgh, Pa./West Allegheny


White, Brenea 6-1 MB SO Humble, Texas/Mississippi


Wignot, Monica 6-2 OH SO Wilkes Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer


Wynn, Jessica 6-2 OH FR Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Cardinal Gibbons


Yeazel, Kate 6-2 OPP/MB/S FR Eaton, Ohio/National Trail


Zitzke, Lindsey 5-11 S FR Dublin, Ohio/Dublin Coffman

Quick Look: University of New Hampshire

 UNH hasn’t fared quite as well as Pitt and Miami, as it is still looking for its first victory of the season after losing its first four matches.  (0-4) at the WVU Mountaineer Invitational. Pitt won the previous meeting between the teams, a 3-0 victory on August 25, 2005.  Bright spots so far for UNH have included the play of 6-2 So. RS Morgan Thatcher and 5-9 Sr. OH Lauren Laquerre, both of whom were named to the West Virginia Invitational All-Tournament Team last weekend in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Here’s UNH’s 2011 Team Roster:

No. Name Cl. Pos. Ht. Hometown/High School
1 Sam Henke Fr. DS 5-7 Millersville, Md./Servena Park
3 Taylor Dunklau Fr. S 5-9 Mukowonago, Wis./Mukowonago
5 Lauren Laquerre Sr. OH 5-9 Concord, N.H./Concord
6 Katie Sattora Fr. DS 5-7 Avon, N.Y./Avon
10 Destiny Tolliver So. RS 6-1 Rochester, Mich./Notre Dame Prep
11 Desiree Ates Jr. OH 5-10 Regina, Saskatchewan/Pasco-Hernando CC
12 Delaney Dameron Fr. MB 6-0 Alpharetta, Ga./Milton
13 Natalie Decker Fr. MB 6-0 Warsaw, Ind./Warsaw Community
14 Jessie Schnepp Jr. DS/L 5-7 East Longmeadow, Mass./East Longmeadow
15 Morgan Thatcher So. RS 6-2 Brockton, Mass./Brockton
16 Amy Keding Sr. OH 5-11 Northbrook, Ill./Glenbrook North
17 Jessy Dick Sr. MB 6-3 Lethbridge, Alberta/Lethbridge Collegiate
20 Jansan Falcusan Jr. S 5-8 Plymouth, Mich./Plymouth-Salem