Game Day: Penn State (0-1) vs. Michigan (0-1) (Oh My!)

Rec Hall Scoreboard Welcome Closeup

Penn State vs. Michigan

Lion Cubs - TwoWolverine

Where: Rec Hall

When: Saturday — 9-28-13 (7:30 p.m. ET)

Media: TV: Big Ten Network; CBSSports.com GameTracker

Beatrice_the_Honey_Bee_(7836716730)The Buzz on Michigan10th-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.

Beatrice_the_Honey_Bee_(7836716730)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.

Stat Joust

Jousting - Blue and Red Knight

Michigan Stats

Michigan Stats 9-23-13

Penn State Stats

Attack Leaders - 2013 (Final)

#Name ClSPMPMSKK/SAETA%
1Scott,
Ariel
4/Sr.11535313833.33103971.288
18McClendon,
Deja
4/Sr.12636363783.00117953.274
17Courtney,
Megan
2/So.12035342972.4796740.272
16Slay,
Katie
4/Sr.12736362742.1654531.414
7Grant,
Nia
3/Jr.11835332081.7664411.350
12Hancock,
Micha
3/Jr.12736361291.0236281.331
Teamn/a1273636181414.285234231.305
Opponentsn/a1273636136710.767764270.138

Setting Leaders - 2013 (Final)

#Name ClassSPMPMSAsstAsst/
Set
TAPct.
12Hancock,
Micha
3/Jr.1273636142511.222999.475
7Grant,
Nia
3/Jr.1183533100.0847.213
4Gonzalez,
Dominique
3/Jr.127360910.72339.268
33Fuller,
Lacey
3/Jr.11836090.0850.180
3Pierce,
Kendall
2/So.8334010.015.200
n/aTeamn/a1273636166913.144030.414
n/aOpponentsn/a1273636129610.204233.306

Recept/Dig Leaders - 2013 (Final)

#Name ClassSPMPMSRERcpt
TA
Rcpt
Pct.
DigsDigs
/S
4Gonzalez,
Dominique
3/Jr.127360--571.9914163.28
18McClendon,
Deja
4/Sr.1263636--857.9813632.88
17Courtney,
Megan
2/So.1203534--466.9703012.51
12Hancock,
Micha
3/Jr.1273636--6.6672892.28
33Fuller,
Lacey
3/Jr.118360--271.0001411.19
Penn State
Total
n/a1273636492061.976180914.24
Opponentsn/a12736361662736.939163212.85

Blocking and Points Leaders - 2013 (Final)

#Name ClSPMPMSBSBATBB/SBEPtsPts
/S
1Scott,
Ariel
4/Sr.1153531391940.829432.53.76
18McClendon,
Deja
4/Sr.12636362255770.616438.53.48
16Slay,
Katie
4/Sr.1273636301772071.6319392.53.09
17Courtney,
Megan
2/So.12035342859870.7314355.52.96
7Grant,
Nia
3/Jr.11835331285970.8212285.52.42
12Hancock,
Micha
3/Jr.1273636569740.588250.51.97
Penn Staten/a1273636107561387.53.05712367.518.64
Opponentsn/a127363638369222.51.75661638.512.90

Rosters

Michigan Roster

Team Captains: Brittany Lee, Jennifer Cross, Lexi Erwin
No. Name Pos. Ht. Elig. Hometown (High School)
1   Molly Toon OH   6-0   SR Middleton, Wis. (Middleton)
2   Jennifer Cross MB   6-4   SR Scarborough, Ont. (Birchmount Park Collegiate)
3   Lindsey Lerg DS   5-7   SO Farmington Hills, Mich. (Mercy)
4 Kelly Murphy OH 6-0 SO Marietta, Ga. (Walton)
5 Olivia Reed MB 6-0 RS SO Plainwell, Mich. (Plainwell)
6 Ally Davis OH 6-1 SO Hinsdale, Ill. (Hinsdale Central)
7   Tiffany Morales DS/L   5-6   SO Redondo Beach, Calif. (Redondo Union)
8 Carly Warner S 5-10 SO Naperville, Ill. (St. Francis)
9 Cindy Zhou S 6-0 FR Libertyville, Ill. (Libertyville)
10   Lexi Dannemiller S   5-11   JR West Chester, Ohio (Lakota West)
11   Lexi Erwin OH   6-1   SR Spring, Texas (Woodlands College Park)
12   Krystalyn Goode MB   6-3   SO River Hills, Wis. (Nicolet)
13   Ally Sabol DS/L   5-6   SR Los Angeles, Calif. (Marymount)
15 Gabbie Bulic MB 6-4 FR Brunswick, Ohio (Brunswick)
16 Brittany Lee DS/L 5-9 RS SR Indianapolis, Ind. (Cathedral)
17   Abby Cole MB   6-5   FR Grand Haven, Mich. (Grand Haven)

Penn State Roster

Penn State 2013 Team Roster

NumberName PositionYear/ClassHeightHometownState/Nation
1Scott, Ariel

RS4/Sr.6-4RidgewoodNew Jersey
2Caraway, LaraDS2/So.5-4Evans CityPennsylvania
3Pierce, KendallDS2/So.5-6EdenNew York
4Gonzalez, DominiqueDS3/Jr.5-6San AntonioTexas
6Martin, MaddieOH4/Sr.6-2TampaFlorida
7Grant, NiaOH3/Jr.6-2WarrenOhio
8Denny, Erica
MH3/Jr. (RS)6-5CentennialColorado
9Prieto Cerame, PaulinaOH1/Fr. (RS)6-2MiamiFlorida
10Muller, CarleyDS1/Fr.5-7Manhattan BeachCalifornia
12Hancock, MichaS3/Jr.5-11EdmondOklahoma
13Krause, TaylorDS/S1/Fr.5-6AllentownPennsylvania
14Whitney, AiyanaOH2/So. (RS)6-5RidgewoodNew Jersey
15Harding, MaggieDS4/Sr.5-6State CollegePennsylvania
16Slay, Katie
MH4/Sr.6-6RaleighNorth Carolina
17Courtney, Megan
S/OH2/So.6-2DaytonOhio
18McClendon, Deja

OH4/Sr.6-1LouisvilleKentucky
23Robertson, KellyMB1/Fr.6-0AllentownPennsylvania
24Broerman, LauraDS1/Fr.5-4Colorado Springs Colorado
33Fuller, LaceyDS3/Jr.5-6San DiegoCalifornia