Penn State vs. Michigan
Where: Rec Hall
When: Saturday — 9-28-13 (7:30 p.m. ET)
Media: TV: Big Ten Network; CBSSports.com GameTracker
The Buzz on Michigan: 10th-ranked Michigan (11-2 after last night’s loss to #13-ranked Ohio State (13-0) in Columbus) moves on to Rec Hall tonight to see which team can salvage a 1-1 weekend, and which team will start the season 0-2 in the Big Ten.
Last weekend, the Wolverines defeated the then- #24-ranked Ohio Bobcats 3-2 (25-18, 22-25, 25-15, 23-25 and 15-11) in the final match of the Michigan Invitational. Among the leading players for Michigan in that tournament were 6-4 Sr. MB Jennifer Cross, a 2012 Third Team AVCA All-American, who was the tournament’s MVP and who led Michigan in the Ohio match with 18 kills and a .457 hitting percentage; 6-1 Sr. OH Lexi Erwin, who earned AVCA honorable mention honors in 2012 and was named to the all-tournament team; and 5-11 Jr. setter Lexi Dannemiller, who was named to the all-tournament team after recording 13 kills and 17 digs. Other key Michigan players are 6-5 Fr. MB Abby Cole (the #3-ranked 2012 PrepVolleyball.com Senior Ace), 6-0 Sr. OH Molly Toon, 6-3 So. MB Krystalyn Goode, 5-6 So. libero Tiffany Morales, and 5-6 Sr. DS Ally Sabol.
Michigan finished the 2012 season with a 27-12 record and ranked #5 in the AVCA poll — the best ever for the Wolverines.
The Buzz on Penn State: The Penn State Women’s Volleyball team (9-2 after their loss to Michigan State; ranked #1 in the 9-23-13 AVCA poll — before their loss to Michigan State) was upset (OK, you can quibble with the word choice, but we guarantee you, they weren’t too durn pleased 🙂 ) by Michigan State in five sets, after finishing its pre-conference schedule with sweeps of Albany, Eastern Kentucky, and Yale in the Penn State Classic.
We knew this weekend’s foes — Michigan State and Michigan — would be another story. We didn’t think it would play out with a loss to the Spartans. But, as Russ Rose noted in an interview with Chelsea Howard, GoPSUsports.com Student Staff Writer, “the next 10 weeks we are going to play two matches a week in a conference where we’re playing against people our size, so it’s a whole different situation.” And it doesn’t end there. Eight Big Ten teams are ranked in the AVCA top 25. Rose, with noticeable understatement, described it to Howard as “a pretty full schedule – that’s 18 of our 20 matches. What concerns me is how we’re going to handle that. We have some players that have a lot experience – some have won Big Ten championships and some have won national championships, so we’ll see if they do the things they have to do to become a better team. There’s a fire that exists that makes the team better than the individuals that are playing. That’s the component they have to work on themselves.”
After last night’s loss to Michigan State (and, by the way, give credit to a very talented and determined Michigan State team) Rose may well question the “fire” component for this year’s team. Coach Rose certainly knows he has a lot of talented players — just naming players who garnered All American or All Big Ten honors in 2012, the list includes 5-11 Jr. setter Micha Hancock (2012 AVCA 1st Team All-America, Volleyball Magazine 1st Team All-America, Big Ten Setter of the Year, and All-Big Ten); 6-4 Sr. Opposite Ariel Scott (2012 AVCA 1st Team All-America, Volleyball Magazine 1st Team All-America, Big Ten Player of the Year, and Unanimous All-Big Ten); 6-1 Sr. OH Deja McClendon (2012 AVCA 3rd Team All-America, Volleyball Magazine 2nd Team All-America, and Unanimous All-Big Ten); 6-2 So. S/OH Megan Courtney (AVCA Mideast Region Freshman of the Year, Unanimous Big Ten All-Freshman Team, and Big Ten Freshman of the Year); and 6-6 Sr. MH Katie Slay (AVCA 2nd Team All-America, Volleyball Magazine 2nd Team All-America, All-Big Ten. Plus, 6-2 Jr. MB Nia Grant and 5-6 Jr. libero Dom Gonzalez are returning starters, and 6-2 OH/Opp Paulina Prieto Cerame and 6-5 OH/Opp/MH Aiyana Whitney — both highly-touted players who redshirted in 2012 —have joined the team and have seen playing time, as have 6-2 Sr. OH Maddie Martin, 5-6 Jr. DS Lacey Fuller, and 5-6 So. DS Kendall Pierce.
But last night, talent alone didn’t carry the day. Was it a lack of fire? We don’t know — 13 service errors certainly had something to do with it. The question will be whether this Penn State team has what it takes to regroup and compete successfully against a Michigan Wolverine squad that will be looking to do the same thing. One will end the weekend 1-1 in the Big Ten. One will be 0-2. Stay tuned.
Penn State Stats
Attack Leaders - 2013 (Final)
Setting Leaders - 2013 (Final)
Recept/Dig Leaders - 2013 (Final)
Blocking and Points Leaders - 2013 (Final)
|Team Captains: Brittany Lee, Jennifer Cross, Lexi Erwin|
Penn State Roster
Penn State 2013 Team Roster
|1||Scott, Ariel||RS||4/Sr.||6-4||Ridgewood||New Jersey|
|2||Caraway, Lara||DS||2/So.||5-4||Evans City||Pennsylvania|
|3||Pierce, Kendall||DS||2/So.||5-6||Eden||New York|
|4||Gonzalez, Dominique||DS||3/Jr.||5-6||San Antonio||Texas|
|8||Denny, Erica||MH||3/Jr. (RS)||6-5||Centennial||Colorado|
|9||Prieto Cerame, Paulina||OH||1/Fr. (RS)||6-2||Miami||Florida|
|10||Muller, Carley||DS||1/Fr.||5-7||Manhattan Beach||California|
|14||Whitney, Aiyana||OH||2/So. (RS)||6-5||Ridgewood||New Jersey|
|15||Harding, Maggie||DS||4/Sr.||5-6||State College||Pennsylvania|
|16||Slay, Katie||MH||4/Sr.||6-6||Raleigh||North Carolina|
|24||Broerman, Laura||DS||1/Fr.||5-4||Colorado Springs||Colorado|
|33||Fuller, Lacey||DS||3/Jr.||5-6||San Diego||California|