Wright State | Saturday, September 29 | Woodling Gymnasium | 4:00 p.m.
The Cleveland State volleyball team will continue Horizon League play at home this weekend, hosting Northern Kentucky and Wright State in a pair of regular season matchups. The Vikings will face the Norse at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, September 28, before taking on the Raiders at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 29. Entering the weekend, Cleveland State stands at 8-6 overall this season and 2-0 in league action - tied for first place in the league standings with Northern Kentucky.
THIS WEEKEND'S OPPONENTS
Northern Kentucky | The Norse enter Friday's contest with a 10-3 overall record this season, and a 2-0 mark in #HLVB play. Last weekend, NKU picked up wins against Green Bay & Milwaukee to begin league play, and is currently on an eight-match winstreak. Earlier this season, Northern Kentucky was selected to finish sixth in the Horizon League preseason poll.
Wright State | The Raiders currently stand at 9-5 overall this year and 1-1 in Horizon League play after splitting their matches against Milwaukee (L, 3-1) and UIC (W, 3-1) last weekend. Wright State, who was tabbed to finish eighth in the #HLVB preseason poll, has won three out of its last five matches entering the weekend.
CLEVELAND STATE IN THE HORIZON LEAGUE
The Vikings, who will be playing in their 18th season of Horizon League play, entered the 2018 #HLVB season as the three-time defending Regular Season champions. Under head coach Chuck Voss, the Vikings own a 160-96 record in regular season Horizon League matches, and won a program-best 14 league contests two years ago. Cleveland State has captured five Regular Season Horizon League crowns (2009, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017), along with a handful of tournament titles (2007, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017).
…CLEVELAND STATE IN #HLVB PLAY THIS YEAR
Last weekend, the Vikings picked up back-to-back 3-0 sweeps over Youngstown State and Oakland to begin Horizon League play, marking just the third time under head coach Chuck Voss that Cleveland State has opened #HLVB play with two straight 3-0 sweeps. Over the last 19 seasons, this marks the fourth time that the Vikings are 2-0 after the first weekend of #HLVB play, with the best start coming during the 2015 campaign when the Vikings won their first five league matches.
VIKINGS TABBED HORIZON LEAGUE PRESEASON FAVORITES
Last month the Vikings were selected to repeat as Horizon League Champions, as they were tabbed the Horizon League Preseason favorite, picking up 69 points and four first place votes in the league's preseason poll. The Vikings are three-time defending Horizon League Champions, and were named the preseason favorite for the third straight season.
DOHAR NAMED #HLVB DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
After averaging 7.50 digs per set during the opening weekend of Horizon League play, senior libero Rachael Dohar was named the #HLVB Defensive Player of the Week. Dohar recorded 27 digs against Youngstown State - her fifth 20-dig match of the year - and followed that up with 18 digs at Oakland. Dohar was a main part of the Viking defense that held YSU and Oakland to a .138 combined hitting percentage last weekend, while she currently leads the league with her 7.50 digs per set in league matches only.
…HALL NAMED #HLVB OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The Vikings made it a clean sweep of the Horizon League weekly awards on Monday, as Trinniti Hall was named the #HLVB Offensive Player of the Week after leading the Vikings with 25 total kills against YSU and Oakland. Hall, who has a team-best 143 total kills this year, recorded nine kills against YSU and a team-best 16 kills at Oakland. Hall's 16 kills at Oakland came on a .519 hitting percentage (16-2-27), while she currently ranks eighth in the league averaging 2.80 kills per set this season.
GRECOL LEADING THE VIKING OFFENSE
So far this season, Cleveland State's offense has been led by freshman Christina Grecol, who enters the weekend with 496 total helpers on the year. Grecol, who is the first freshman to lead the Viking offense as the primary setter since Jordan Goad in 2008, currently ranks second among Horizon League players averaging 9.73 assists per set in all matches, while she leads the league averaging 13.50 assists per set in league matches only. Grecol's season-high performance came against Harvard earlier this season, as she tallied 53 assists in the five-set victory over the Crimson.
SKEENS PROVIDES OFFENSIVE SPARK
Junior Sara Skeens has been a quiet leader for the Viking offense this season, entering the weekend ranked fifth in the league averaging 2.98 kills per set. Skeens, who tallied a season-best 16 kills against Youngstown State in the league opener, leads the Vikings with her 2.98 kills per set this season and leads all current Vikings with 722 total kills on her career.
…VIKING OFFENSE CLICKING INTO PLACE
The Cleveland State offense had its best showing of the season last time out, posting a season-best .327 hitting percentage in the 3-0 win at Oakland. The Vikings combined for 46 total kills on the match, and recorded just their second .300 clip or better from the floor this year (.301 vs. Montana State). So far this season, the Vikings own a .168 hitting percentage, a mark that ranks fifth among league teams. Historically, Cleveland State has been one of the best offensive teams in the league, finishing at the top of the standings in each of the last three seasons.
VIKING DEFENSE HOLDS STRONG
The Cleveland State defense had a solid first weekend of Horizon League play last time out, averaging a league-best 23.17 digs per set. The Vikings, who combined for 139 total digs on the weekend, were led by Rachael Dohar (45 digs) and MacKenzie Conner (26 digs). In league matches only, Dohar is tops in the league averaging 7.50 digs per set, while Conner ranks seventh averaging 4.33 digs per set. Conner, a freshman defensive specialist for the Vikings, has recorded five double-digit dig matches this season, including a career-high 19-dig effort against YSU in the league opener last weekend.
GREENE ON THE BLOCK
After the first week of #HLVB play, sophomore Hannah Greene continues to lead the Horizon League in blocks, averaging 1.39 blocks per set. Greene, who has combined for 71 total blocks this year, also ranks 24th nationally with her 1.39 blocks per set average. Greene has recorded three or more blocks in 13 of the 14 matches so far this season, including back-to-back nine-block performances against Binghamton and Montana State to start the year.
…CLEVELAND STATE BLOCK PARTY
As a team, the Vikings are averaging 2.71 blocks per set, a mark that leads all Horizon League teams entering the second week of league play. Not only are the Vikings at the top of the Horizon League, but they are also ranked in the top-25 nationally in blocks per set and the top-30 in total blocks (138.0). Through 14 matches, Cleveland State has recorded 10.0 or more team blocks seven times, including a season-high 17.0 total team blocks against Binghamton in the season opener.
HEAD COACH CHUCK VOSS
Chuck Voss is in his 19th season at the helm of the Vikings, and owns a 345-209 (.622) overall record at CSU. Under Voss the Vikings have recorded 15 winning seasons, including nine straight entering the 2018 season. Cleveland State has eclipsed the 20-win mark eight times since Voss took over the program, and has captured Horizon League Tournament titles five times (2007, 2012, 2015, 2016 & 2017) under his guidance. During the 2016 season, Voss became the all-time winningest coach in program history and became the the only active Horizon League coach to reach the 300-win mark at their current school.
The Vikings will split their time at home and on the road next weekend, hosting IUPUI on Friday, October 5 and traveling to Milwaukee on Sunday, October 7.