Volleyball Travels to Wright State, Hosts Milwaukee in Final Week

YSU Volleyball (Photo by Regina Thompson)
YSU Volleyball (Photo by Regina Thompson)

The Youngstown State volleyball team begins its final week of the 2017 season on Wednesday with a contest at Wright State. The Penguins will then conclude the campaign at Beeghly Center on Saturday against Milwaukee. Wednesday's contest will begin at 6 p.m., and Saturday's season finale will start at 4 p.m. Both matches will be carried live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

Blanco One Away From 1,000: Senior libero Lauren Blanco needs one more dig to become the 16th player in program history to reach 1,000 in a career. Notably, 805 of those digs have come in the last two seasons. She had 37 digs as a freshman, 157 as a sophomore and 353 as a junior. She has 452 in 2017, which is the third-most in program history behind Nikki Thompson's 510 in 2015 and 495 in 2014. Blanco continues to lead the Horizon League with 5.21 digs per set during conference play, and she is averaging 4.44 digs per set overall.

Splinter Sets Career Highs: With Youngstown State running a 5-1 offense instead of its normal 6-2 on Sunday against Oakland, senior Heather Splinter set several new career highs. She had bests with 48 assists and seven kills, and she added 10 digs for her first double-double of league play. Splinter upped her season assist total to 454 last week, and she needs nine more to reach 500 for her career.

Thompson Moving Up Freshman Charts: Freshman outside hitter Margaux Thompson continues to move up YSU's freshman records lists. She has 294 digs, which is the sixth-most by a YSU freshman and the most since 2007. At the same time, she has 227 kills, which is nine shy of the top 10.

Scouting Wright State: Wright State is 9-18 overall and 3-11 in Horizon League play entering this week. The Raiders have lost their last seven contests since beating the Penguins in Youngstown on Oct. 11. Jessie Thornton leads the conference overall with 4.99 digs per set, and she ranks third behind Blanco and Cleveland State's Shannon Grega in league play. Megan Hopkins ranks fifth in the league with 1.08 blocks per set, and her .279 attack percentage ranks ninth. Katie Klusman is ninth in the league with 3.08 kills per set.

Scouting Milwaukee: Milwaukee enters the week with a 12-16 overall record and a 5-9 mark in the league, and the Panthers need a pair of wins to remain in contention for the final spot in the Horizon League Tournament. UWM plays at Wright State on Friday before coming to YSU on Saturday. Milwaukee has the current offensive and defensive players of the week in the conference in Bridget Wallenberger and Mykie Olsen. Wallenberger averages 3.67 kills per set on an impressive .317 attack percentage, ranking fourth in the league in both categories. Setter Jenn Dore leads the league with 11.72 assists per set.