2015 HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNAMENT
No. 1 Cleveland State vs. TBA
Saturday, Nov. 21 | 3:00 p.m. | Woodling Gymnasium
Sunday, Nov. 22 | 2:00 p.m. | Woodling Gymnasium
After capturing the Horizon League Regular Season Championship last weekend, the Cleveland State volleyball team will try to win its third Horizon League Tournament Championship, hosting the 2015 Horizon League Tournament this weekend. The Vikings, who earned the top seed in the upcoming tournament will begin play with a semifinal contest on Saturday, November 21. The two winners of Saturday's semifinals will then play for the Horizon League Title on Sunday, November 22.
ENTERING THE TOURNAMENT…
The Vikings own a 24-6 overall record, and posted a 13-3 mark in Horizon League regular season contests…Cleveland State has won eight of its last 10 matches…The Vikings enter the tournament as the top seed and will begin play in the semifinals.
HORIZON LEAGUE REGULAR SEASON CHAMPIONS!
With the 3-1 victory at UIC last Friday, the Cleveland State volleyball team clinched the 2015 Horizon League Regular Season Championship. This marks the third time that the Vikings have been regular season champs, also doing so during the 2009 and 2012 seasons. Cleveland State finished the regular season with a 13-3 mark in league action, tying the program record for league wins in a season.
LEAGUE TOURNAMENT RETURNS TO CLEVELAND
This will be the third time that CSU has hosted the Horizon League Championship, also doing so during the 2009 and 2012 seasons. Over the past 10 years, Cleveland State is one of two league teams to host the tournament multiple times (Milwaukee).
CSU IN THE HORIZON LEAGUE TOURNAMENT
This will be the sixth time under head coach Chuck Voss that the Vikings will enter the Horizon League Tournament as a top-two seed, and the third time that CSU will be the No. 1 seed. Over the past 16 years, Cleveland State has advanced to the championship match of the Horizon League Tournament six times (2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2004) claiming the title during the 2007 and 2012 seasons. With their bye into the semifinals this year, the Vikings have now reached the semifinals 11 times, and hold an overall record of 14-13 in Horizon League Championship action.
20 WINS AND COUNTING
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 the Horizon League Tournament, CSU stands at 24-6 this season, and is one of two league teams to break the 20-win plateau this year. The 24 wins marks the second highest single-season win total at Cleveland State over the past 30 years, and is just two wins shy of tying the single-season win total record under Voss (26 wins during the 2009 season).
VOSS NAMED HORIZON LEAGUE COACH OF THE YEAR
For the fourth time in his tenure, Cleveland State head coach Chuck Voss was named the Horizon League Coach of the Year earlier this week. Voss picked up the honor after leading the Vikings to their third Horizon League Regular Season title, with a record-tying 13-3 mark in league play. On the year, Voss has led CSU to a 24-6 record – the sixth 20-win season under his guidance. Voss has a career coaching record of 289-188 at Cleveland State, and is just four wins shy of becoming the winningest coach in program history.
FOUR VIKINGS EARN POSTSEASON HONORS
The Vikings were well represented in this year's postseason honors from the Horizon League, as Grace Kauth, Christina Toth, and Alexis Middlebrooks were all named to the All-League Team, and Rachel Stover earned a spot on the All-Freshman Team. This marks the ninth straight season that a Viking has earned All-League honors, while it is the ninth time out of the last 10 seasons that CSU has had a representative on the All-Freshman Team.
…GRACE KAUTH | JUNIOR | OUTSIDE HITTER
Kauth picks up All-League honors for the second time in her career, after posting 416 kills and 304 digs on the season – the only Horizon League player to surpass 400 kills and 300 digs. Entering the tournament, she ranks fifth averaging 3.59 kills per set on the season. So far this year, Kauth has recorded 15 double-doubles, and has recorded career-highs in kills (28 vs. Valparaiso) and digs (23 @ Wright State).
…CHRISTINA TOTH | SENIOR | OUTSIDE HITTER
Toth picked up postseason honors for the first time her career, ending the regular season with a team-high 448 kills. She ranks fourth in the league averaging 3.90 kills per set, and ranks eighth with a .273 hitting percentage on the year. Toth has notched double-digit kills in all but three matches this year, and has been Cleveland State's top offensive threat in 19 contests.
…ALEXIS MIDDLEBROOKS | SOPHOMORE | MIDDLE HITTER
Middlebrooks picked up postseason accolades for the first time in her career, finishing the regular season ranked second among league players in hitting percentage (.335) and blocks (1.13 blocks per set). For the season, Middlebrooks has recorded 327 total kills and a league-best 129 total blocks. Middlebrooks' blocking efforts have helped CSU hold its opponents to a .191 hitting percentage, while she has recorded at least five blocks in 16 matches this year, including a career-high nine against Indiana, Eastern Illinois, and Northern Kentucky.
…RACHEL STOVER | FRESHMAN | RIGHT SIDE
Stover picks up All-Freshman Team honors after posting 117 kills and 54 blocks during her rookie campaign. Stover has been in the starting lineup throughout the majority of the regular season, and has been an integral part of the Viking offense that is tops in the league in hitting percentage and kills per set.
KAUTH CLOSING IN ON 1,000 CAREER KILLS
Entering the Horizon League Tournament, Grace Kauth is just two 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 416 kills on the season, one of five league players to record 400 kills on the year.
…KAUTH ON THE DEFENSIVE END
Grace Kauth has also been one of Cleveland State's top backrow players this season, ranking second on the team with 304 digs, averaging 2.62 per set. Kauth has tallied 15 or more digs in six matches this season, and has recorded 15 double-doubles. For her career, Kauth has 874 digs, and has the potential to become just the sixth Viking all-time to surpass 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs.
CSU SINGLE-SEASON TOTAL BLOCKS TOP-10
Cleveland State has been the league's top blocking team this year, posting 277 total blocks on the year, averaging 2.35 per set. As a team, CSU has posted double-digit blocks during 13 matches, including a season-high of 14.5 against Indiana. The 277 total blocks ranks sixth on the CSU single-season record book, while the Vikings' 452 block assists this year ranks fifth.
…FINALLY MADE TOP-10 IN SINGLE-SEASON KILLS LIST
Last time out, the Vikings eclipsed the 1,600 kill mark for the season - just the ninth team in program history to surpass 1,600 in a single season. Entering the Horizon League Tournament, Cleveland State has 1,630 kills, ranking seventh on the CSU single-season record book. The Vikings are one of just two Horizon League teams with at least 1,600 kills on the season (Valparaiso).
HIGH OCTANE OFFENSE
Entering the Horizon League Tournament, the Vikings have notched a league-best .257 hitting percentage, while ranking second averaging 13.81 kills per set. Cleveland State has tallied a .300 clip or better during 10 matches, including a season-high mark of .385 against Northern Kentucky (52-10-109). If the season were to end today, the .257 hitting percentage would be tied for a single-season record for the Vikings.
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 1,191 of CSU's 1,630 total kills (73%). Toth (4th - 3.90) and Kauth (5th - 3.59) both rank in the top-10 among league players in kills per set, while Middlebrooks is just shy of making the list.
IN THE CSU CAREER RECORD BOOK
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 the tournament Roberts ranks fourth with 1,173 career digs, while Holmes ranks sixth with 1,159. With at least one match left in the season, both players have the chance to become the fourth and fifth Vikings all-time to surpass the 1,200 dig mark.
ASSISTS | There are also two current Vikings on the career assists list, with Dayna Roberts ranking seventh with 1,934 total assists and Gina Kilner sitting eighth with 1,825 career helpers. Roberts is the first Viking all-time to record 1,900 assists and 1,000 digs on their career, while Kilner is the eighth Viking all-time to post 1,800 career helpers. For the season, Kilner has record 1,291 total assists, a mark that ranks eighth 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 3.59 kills per set, is closing in on 1,000 career kills, entering the weekend with 998.
POINTS PER SET | Grace Kauth also recently earned a spot on the top-10 list in points per set, entering the tournament ranked 10th with 3.46 points per set. For the season, she is averaging 4.03 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 weekend with 1,138.0 total points.