Volleyball Travels To UIC & Valparaiso To Close Regular Season

Volleyball Travels To UIC & Valparaiso To Close Regular Season

MATCHES #29 - 30

Friday, November 13 | 8:00 p.m. EST | Chicago, Ill.
Live Stats

@ Valparaiso
Saturday, November 14 | 5:00 p.m. EST | Valparaiso, Ind.
Live Stats | Live Video 

Cleveland State @ UIC/Valparaiso

The Cleveland State volleyball team will close out the 2015 regular season this weekend, traveling to UIC and Valparaiso for the final two contests before Horizon League Tournament play. The Vikings will face UIC on Friday, November 13 at 8:00 p.m. EST and will then take on Valparaiso at 5:00 p.m. EST on Saturday, November 14. Entering the weekend, all three teams will be vying for tournament seeding - including the Vikings who will be battling for the Horizon League Regular Season title.

UIC enters Friday's contest sitting seventh in the Horizon League standings - just shy of making the tournament before playing its final two matches of the year. The Flames are currently on a five-match losing skid and have notched just one win out of their last eight contests. Earlier this season, the Vikings were able to pick up an easy 3-0 victory against UIC.

Valparaiso enters the final weekend of the regular season with a 23-7 overall record and a 9-5 mark in league matches. The Crusaders enter the weekend sitting third in the league standings, and will face Youngstown State prior to Saturday's match against CSU. Valpo has won three of its last four matches, and six of its last eight. During the first half of league play, the Vikings notched a five-set victory over the Crusdaers.

The Vikings own a 23-5 overall record, including a 12-2 mark in Horizon League contests…Cleveland State has won seven of its last eight matches…The Vikings currently sit atop the Horizon League standings and will be battling for the Horizon League Regular Season crown and the opportunity to host the 2015 Horizon League Tournament.

This weekend's matches at UIC and Valparaiso will be the final roadswing of the regular season for the Vikings - with Cleveland State owning a 5-1 record on the road in league play this season. CSU is one of just two league teams with one loss or less on the road in league action this season (Oakland).

Earlier this season the Vikings notched their sixth 20-win season under head coach Chuck Voss and their 15th 20-win season in program history. Entering Friday's contest at UIC, CSU stands at 23-5 this season, and is one of two league teams to break the 20-win plateau this year. The 23 wins is tied for the second highest single-season win total at Cleveland State over the past 30 years, and is just three wins shy of tying the single-season win total record under Voss (26 wins during the 2009 season).

Entering the final stretch of the 2015 regular season, Grace Kauth is just 19 kills shy of reaching the 1,000 kill milestone for her career. Kauth, who would become the 16th Viking all-time to join the 1,000 kill club, has 399 kills on the season, just one kill shy of notching her first 400-kill season. She currently ranks fifth among league players averaging 3.63 kills per set, and has tallied double-digit kills in 24 matches this season

After combining for 26.5 total team blocks over the final homestand of the regular season the Vikings cracked the CSU single-season top-10 record list, entering this weekend ranked ninth with 257.0 total team blocks. Against Oakland (Nov. 7), the Vikings became just the eighth CSU team all-time to record 400 block assists in a single season, and enter the UIC contest ranking seventh with 420 block assists.

Cleveland State is also closing in on the single-season kills list, entering the weekend with 1,531 total kills on the season - just 27 kills shy of cracking in the top-10 list. For the season, the Vikings rank second among Horizon League teams averaging 13.92 kills per set, and are one of just two league teams with at least 1,500 kills so far this year (Valparaiso).

Sophomore Alexis Middlebrooks continued her excellent blocking efforts against Northern Kentucky last time out, posting five total blocks against the Norse. Middlebrooks, who ranks second in the league averaging 1.13 blocks per set, has posted five or more total blocks during 15 matches this season. Entering Friday's contest she has a league-best 124 total blocks and is just one block shy of cracking the CSU single-season top-10 list.

Entering the final week of the 2015 regular season, the Vikings have notched a league-best .267 hitting percentage, while ranking second averaging 13.92 kills per set. CSU has tallied a .300 clip or better during 10 matches, including a season-high mark of .385 against Northern Kentucky last time out (52-10-109). If the season were to end today, the .267 hitting percentage would be a single-season record for Cleveland State. 

The  majority of Cleveland State's offense has come from the trio of Christina Toth, Alexis Middlebrooks, and Grace Kauth this season, as this trio has accounted for 1,150 of CSU's 1,531 total kills (75%). Toth (4th - 3.92) and Kauth (5th - 3.63) both rank in the top-10 among league players in kills per set, while Middlebrooks is just shy of making the list. 

DIGS | Seniors Dayna Roberts and Nikki Holmes both rank in the top-10 in digs after being a crucial part of the Cleveland State defense throughout their careers. Entering Friday's contest Roberts ranks fifth with 1,153 career digs, while Holmes ranks seventh with 1,121. With at least three matches left to play this season, both have the opportunity to move up to fourth place on the career record list.

ASSISTS | There are also two current Vikings on the career assists list, with Dayna Roberts ranking seventh with 1,931 total assists and Gina Kilner sitting eighth with 1,741 career helpers. Roberts is the first Viking all-time to record 1,900 assists and 1,000 digs on their career, while Kilner is closing in on becoming the eighth Viking all-time with 1,800 career helpers. For the season, Kilner has record 1,207 total assists, a mark that ranks 10th among NCAA Division I players.

KILLS PER SET | Throughout the season Grace Kauth has consistently moved up the kills per set record list, and currently ranks seventh averaging 3.04 kills per set on her career. Kauth, who ranks fifth among league players this season averaging 3.63 kills per set, is closing in on 1,000 career kills, entering the weekend with 981.

POINTS PER SET | Grace Kauth also recently earned a spot on the top-10 list in points per set, entering the weekend ranked 10th with 3.47 points per set. For the season, she is averaging 4.07 points per set, one of just five league players to average at least 4.00 points per set. Kauth recently surpassed 1,100 career points, entering the final stretch of the regular season with 1,118.5 total points.

Junior Grace Kauth has been one of Cleveland State's best all-around players over the past few years, and is one of just two Horizon League players to record 375 kills and 275 digs so far this season (Emily Campbell - Valparaiso). Entering the weekend, Kauth has 399 kills and 295 digs on the season, ranking second on the team in both categories. For her career, Kauth has 981 kills and 865 digs, and has the potential to become just the sixth Viking all-time to surpass 1,000 career digs and 1,000 career kills.