Oct. 11, 2005
Contact: Alan Ashby
Quick Sets: After spending the better part of the last three weeks on the road, the Vikings return home for a trio of matches in Woodling Gymnasium this week. Cleveland State (10-6, 3-2 HL) will kick-off a six-match homestand by hosting Oakland on Tuesday (Oct. 11), followed by Horizon League tilts with Loyola and league-leading UIC as part of Alumni Weekend on Oct. 14-15.
Reunited: The Vikings will welcome back former players for Alumni Weekend on Oct. 14-15. Cleveland State is slated to play defending Horizon League tournament champion Loyola on Friday and league-leading UIC the next afternoon. Saturday will feature a special ceremony honoring Jamie Bouyer, who last year became the first All-American in school history, and a dinner for the alumni following the match with the Flames. Bouyer finished her career as the league's all-time leader in hitting percentage (.339) and blocks (558), while topping the CSU charts with 1,626 kills.
Head Coach Chuck Voss: In his sixth year at the helm of the Vikings, head coach Chuck Voss has an 80-84 (.488) mark and a 113-120 (.485) overall record in eight seasons. He picked up his 100th career win on Oct. 29, 2004 at Wright State and has mentored the first All-American in school history (Jamie Bouyer was a 2004 AVCA honorable mention selection), five first team all-league picks, four all-newcomer team members and the 2002 Co-Newcomer of the year (Alisa Hatcher). In 2002, Voss guided the Vikings to their first winning season since 1983 and the 18 victories in 2002 & `03 are the most since the 1988 team won 20 contests.
Voss On This Week: "I'm looking forward to a great weekend. Being able to honor Jamie will be a thrill. On the court, our ball control will be very important. We're pretty tough when we have multiple offensive options. These two matches are crucial if we hope to win a league championship -- we've got to take care of business on our home court."
Crucial Clashes Await: This weekend, CSU will begin a stretch in which it plays seven of its next eight Horizon League matches at home. The Vikings are currently tied for third with Loyola, while UIC leads the league with a perfect 5-0 mark. Historically, CSU has not fared well against either opponent, going 4-24 against the Ramblers and 10-36 versus the Flames.
Recapping Last Week: For the second time in as many road trips, Cleveland State earned a split of a Horizon League weekend swing. On Friday (Oct. 7), the Vikings fell in three games at defending league champion UW-Milwaukee. Nickole Kennedy paced CSU with 11 kills while Alisa Hatcher had a match-high 16 digs. The Vikings recovered the next day to earn a sweep of their own at UW-Green Bay, spurred on by rallying from a 28-22 deficit to claim the opening game, 30-28. Kennedy once again led CSU with 17 kills and Emily Clark added 12 digs.
Wall Goes Back Up: Cleveland State has made life miserable for opposing hitters recently, recording 71 blocks in the last six matches. Leading the way are freshman Jenni Ramminger, senior Nickole Kennedy and junior Danielle Siefker with 33, 32 and 30 blocks, respectively. The Vikings are averaging 3.23 blocks per game during the stretch, a far cry from the 2.30 bpg the first 10 contests of the season. CSU, which now leads the league with 2.66 bpg, has been out-blocked just four times this year and recorded a season-high 16.5 blocks in a four game win at Wright State on Sept. 24.
Efficiency Is In: The Vikings have out-hit their opponents by 53 points this season, posting a league-leading .229 hitting percentage. CSU foes have recorded a higher hitting percentage just four times all year, with the Vikings posting a 1-3 mark in those contests. Individually, Nickole Kennedy (.328) and Danielle Siefker (.309) rank first and second, respectively, in the league. Last year's team set the school record with a .239 hitting percentage.
She Spells Consistency With A "K": Senior opposite Nickole Kennedy is making her presence felt this year after garnering All-Horizon League honors last season. She has three 20-kill efforts in the last six matches and is averaging 4.86 kpg and 1.45 bpg during that span. The Sunbury, Ohio native leads the league in hitting percentage (.328), is third in kills (4.02) and fourth in blocks (1.11). Kennedy tallied a team-season high 21 kills at Wright State on Sept. 23 and led the Vikings with 18 kills in their five-game loss to No. 12 Ohio State on Sept. 6. Her consistently high level of play earned Kennedy all-tournament team honors in each of CSU's three early-season tourneys.
Ramminger Settles Into Starting Role: Freshman Jenni Ramminger has settled in as the starting middle hitter the last 16 matches after coming off the bench in the season opener. She currently ranks eighth in the league in aces per game (0.32) and sixth in blocks per game (1.05).The Cincinnati native has been outstanding in CSU's three league matches, ranking third in hitting percentage (.333) and fifth in blocks (1.28). She earned Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 19 for her efforts in the Medical Mutual CSU Invitational as she tallied 21 blocks and six aces in three matches.
Now Starting At Setter...: Sophomore Mel Snyder has done a superb job running the Cleveland State offense in her first season as the starting setter. She has directed the Vikings to a league-best .229 hitting percentage while ranking third in the league in assists (11.53) and ninth in aces (0.30). Snyder had the best match of her brief career on Sept. 24 at Wright State, setting career-highs for assists (60), hitting percentage (.294), digs (15) and blocks (4) while registering six kills.
Life After Shin Splints: Junior middle hitter Danielle Siefker had surgery following the 2004 season to correct her chronic shin splints. Judging from the first six weeks of the season, it's safe to say the procedure was a success. Siefker leads the league in blocks (1.25) and is second in hitting (.309). The Kalida, Ohio native has hit above .500 five times and notched a career-high 16 kills and a season-high 11 blocks in the win at Wright State on Sept. 24. She garnered Horizon League Player of the Week honors on Sept. 5 after earning tournament MVP honors at the Duquesne Invitational. Siefker hit .542 (making just six errors on 48 attempts) with 13 blocks in leading the Vikings to a trio of sweeps on Sept. 2-3.
Can You Dig It?: In Cleveland State's Sept. 17 win over Niagara, senior outside hitter Emily Clark broke the school record for digs and heads into action this week with 1,232 digs. Megan Wandersleben, who recorded 1,138 digs from 1989-92, previously held the record. Clark's 399 digs in 2003 stands as the fourth-highest total in school history. The Bolivar, Ohio native, who ranks eighth in the league in digs (3.82 pg), tallied a career-high 34 digs at Butler on Sept. 23 -- just three shy of the school record. She hit .321 with 35 digs in three matches to earn a spot on the Duquesne Invitational all-tournament squad the opening week of the season.
She's The Quiet One: While other players on the team may draw more attention with their stats, senior Jenna Maddocks has been a rock-solid presence for the Vikings at outside hitter. The Norwalk, Ohio native stands third on the team in kills (2.67) and digs (2.58) and fourth in hitting percentage (.211). She leads the team with six double-doubles on the year and had a season-high 16 kills on Sept. 17 against San Diego State and 15 kills against No. 12 Ohio State on Sept. 16.
Hatcher Makes Triumphant Return: When senior Alisa Hatcher started at libero for the Vikings on Aug. 26 against Toledo, it was a special day in her career. The Bellefontaine, Ohio native hadn't played since suffering a pulmonary embolism at the end of the 2003 season, sitting out all of last year while on blood thinners. She shook of the rust against the Rockets to record 17 digs and then matched her career-high with 23 digs against No. 12 Ohio State on Sept. 6. Overall, Hatcher is sixth in the league with 4.04 digs per game and fourth in league matches only at 4.67 dpg.
Vikings' Run Of Success Continues: Cleveland State is looking to build on its run of three consecutive winning seasons, the second-longest streak in school history. It trails only the seven straight winning campaigns from 1972-78.
CSU Successful In Classroom As Well: The Cleveland State volleyball team was one of 45 Division I schools to garner the Game Plan/AVCA Team Academic Award, which was released on Aug. 8. The Vikings put together a 3.30 GPA for the 2004-05 academic year in addition to advancing to their first Horizon League Championship match. The award, initiated in the 1992-93 academic year, honors college and high school teams that displayed excellence in the classroom by maintaining at least a cumulative 3.30 GPA during the school year. At the Division I level, 311 schools sponsor women's volleyball.
Up Next: The Vikings continue their six-match homestand with a pair of Horizon League contests next week. CSU will host Wright State on Saturday, Oct. 21, followed by a match with Butler the next afternoon.