Oct. 28, 2009
MADISON, Wis. - After a 1-1 homestand against Illinois and Northwestern, the Wisconsin volleyball team hits the road this weekend to face Michigan and Michigan State. The Badgers look to repeat their success from earlier this season with wins against both teams.
The match against Michigan begins at 6 p.m. on Friday in the Cliff Keen Arena. Click here for live stats. Wisconsin takes on Michigan State on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. in the Jenison Field House. The match will be streamed live on BigTenNetwork.com for a fee. Click here for live stats. Both matches will be broadcast live on The Mic 92.1 (WXXM) or you can listen on line here.
Here's a glance at what each team brings to the table.
- No. 13 Michigan (18-5 overall, 6-4 Big Ten Conference) has lost three of its last five matches. After losing at Wisconsin on Oct. 9, the Wolverines lost at No. 1 Penn State. Michigan got back on the winning track with wins over Ohio State and Michigan State before losing at No. 9 Minnesota last weekend.
- Senior Juliana Paz is the Wolverines strongest overall player. Paz averages 3.73 kills per set. A 6-1 outside hitter, Paz also averages 0.41 aces, 2.37 digs and 0.45 blocks per set.
- Junior Lexi Zimmerman, a 5-10 setter, directs the Michigan offense, putting up 10.99 assists per set.
- Sophomore Alex Hunt leads the team with 0.46 service aces per set. Hunt adds 3.18 kills and 2.16 digs per set.
- Two sophomores lead the Wolverines defensively. Courtney Fletcher, a 6-4 middle blocker, leads the team in blocks with 0.76 per set. Sloane Dunhoff, a 5-9 libero, has a team-high 4.12 digs per set.
- Wisconsin upset then No. 8 Michigan by a score of 3-1 in Madison on Oct. 10.
- Michigan State (14-8, 2-8), has dropped six consecutive matches, losing most recently to then-No. 9 Minnesota. The Spartans' last conference win dates back to Oct. 3 where they defeated Northwestern (3-1).
- Junior Megan Schatzle headlines the Michigan State offense. Schatzle, a 6-2 outside hitter, has put down 243 kills this season (3.08/set). Sophomores Becca Zlabis and Jenilee Rathje also make strong offensive contributions. Zlabis averages 2.76 kills per set, while Rathje scores 2.41 per set.
- Sophomore setter Natalie Emro directs the Spartan offense, dishing out an average of 10.40 assists per set. Emro is also the team's leader in service aces with an average of 0.28/set.
- Defensively, Michigan State has out-performed its opponents in both digs (12.7-11.4) and blocks (2.4-2.0). Libero Allyson Karaba leads the team with 4.20 digs per set. Zlabis adds 2.64 digs per set. Senior middle blocker Vanessa King highlights the Spartans' front line, averaging 1.10 stuffs per set.
- The Badgers swept the Spartans in their first meeting of the season on Oct. 9 in Madison.