The No. 9 Penn State women's volleyball team faces unranked Wisconsin tonight
at 7 p.m. and No. 10 Minnesota Saturday at 6 p.m.
We'll take a look at the facts to see Penn State's overall record against these
teams. Then, we'll look at which team leads each statistical category. We'll also look
at the player from among the teams that leads each category, as well as Penn
Penn State vs. Wisconsin: 37-6 Penn State. Penn State has won the last
eight matches against the Badgers, six of them in three set sweeps.
Penn State vs. Minnesota: 35-8 Penn State. Penn State has won 13 of
the last 14 matches between the two teams.
Penn State is ranked No. 9, Minnesota is ranked No. 10 and Iowa is not ranked.
Penn State will likely defeat Wisconsin tonight, and will aim for a sweep. The
Nittany Lions' match with Minnesota will be more difficult. The Golden Gophers
have a talent-laden squad, and will give Penn State a run for their money.
Penn State: 8-4 (1-1 Big Ten)
Wisconsin: 9-5 (1-1 Big Ten)
Minnesota: 8-3 (1-1 Big Ten). Minnesota pushed Illinois, the No. 1 team in the
nation, to five sets in its Big Ten opener. Minnesota also has two sweep
victories over Texas, a team Penn State lost to in five sets earlier this
season. The Golden Gophers play at Ohio State tonight.
Minnesota has the best winning percentage among these teams, with .727.
Minnesota has looked strong thus far in the season, with two of its three
losses coming to teams in the top two in the nation at the time. Penn State has
faced strong opposition, which partially explains the Lions' .667 winning
percentage. However, it has to be said that based on results, Minnesota looks
like the stronger team right now.
Minnesota comes in at fifth in the Big Ten with 14.17 kills per set to lead
this category. The Gophers' attack is led by the dangerous Ashley Wittman, who
leads the Big Ten in kills per set with 4.67. Penn State is actually third-from
last in the Big Ten in this statistic, with only 13.00 kills per set. Wisconsin
has tallied 13.90 kills per set thus far.
Overall leader: Ashley Wittman, Minnesota — 4.67
Penn State leader: Deja McClendon — 3.62
Penn State comes out on top here, with a .267 hitting percentage. The Lions
offense has been efficiently led by sophomore Ariel Scott as of late, with
sophomore Katie Slay also hitting well except against Iowa last weekend.
Minnesota is hitting .251 and Wisconsin is hitting .246.
Overall leader (min. three attacks/set): Katie Slay, Penn State
Penn State's leader (min. three attacks/set): Katie Slay — .378
Minnesota comes in at third in the Big Ten in this statistic to lead the
category with 13.48. However, their setter, Mia Tabberson, is the most prolific
setter in the conference with 11.81 assists per set. Penn State again is tenth
among the Big Ten's 12 teams, with 11.96 assists per set, behind Wisconsin's
12.88. Freshman setter Micha Hancock will need to improve on her 9.64 assists
per set if the Lions hope to climb in this category.
Overall leader: Mia Tabberson, Minnesota — 11.81
Penn State leader: Micha Hancock — 9.64
Wisconsin leads this category with 15.83 digs per set, good for third in the
Big Ten. That number is partly on the back of the Badgers' Big Ten-leading
digger, libero Annemarie Hickey. Hickey has 5.08 digs per set this season.
Minnesota's energetic libero Jessica Granquist, with 4.80 digs per set, leads
her team to sixth in the Big Ten, with 15.09 digs per set. Penn State is
lacking in this defensive metric with only 12.53 digs per set, which ranks 11th
in the Big Ten. Junior Kristin Carpenter still leads the Lions in this category
with 2.71 digs per set, despite not seeing much playing time with coach Russ
Rose's current rotation.
Overall leader: Annemarie Hickey, Iowa — 5.08
Penn State leader: Kristin Carpenter — 2.71
Wisconsin leads this category as well, with 2.57 blocks per set, ahead of Penn
State's 2.51. However, it's a team effort for the Badgers, as they have no
players in the Big Ten's top 10 blockers per set, despite their No. 4-ranking
as a team. Penn State's Katie Slay is fourth in the Big Ten with 1.29 blocks
per set, and has more than half of the Lions blocks. Minnesota is last in the
Big Ten in blocks per set, with only 1.97. No other conference team has less
Overall leader: Katie Slay, Penn State — 1.29
Penn State leader: Katie Slay — 1.29
Penn State's Micha Hancock remains the most dangerous server in the Big Ten,
leading her squad to a No. 2-ranking in the conference in this category with
1.71 aces per set as a team. Hancock herself leads the Big Ten with .73. That's
.13 more than her closest competition. Wisconsin has 1.23 aces per set and
Minnesota has .91.
Overall leader: Micha Hancock, Penn State — .73
Penn State leader: Micha Hancock — .73