Second Half of League Play Begins Friday for Volleyball

YSU volleyball team celebration (Photo by Regina Thompson)
YSU volleyball team celebration (Photo by Regina Thompson)

The Youngstown State volleyball team begins the second half of Horizon League play on Friday evening at Milwaukee. The Penguins will also play Green Bay on Saturday in their Wisconsin trip. Both matches will be streamed live on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app, and live stats links will be available through YSUsports.com.

The Penguins posted a 2-6 record in the first half of conference play, which is one game out of a spot in next month's conference tournament. Milwaukee is a half game ahead at 3-6, and Green Bay is 5-4. A win Friday night would give the Penguins a season sweep against the Panthers, which could be important for tiebreaking scenarios.

Youngstown State dropped a pair of close matches last weekend at the Beeghly Center, falling in four sets to UIC and in five sets to Valparaiso. The Penguins registered a season-high 18 blocks against the Flames, and two of their set losses went beyond 25 points. YSU then took two of the first three sets against Valpo, with the second set being a 25-23 Crusaders win, before losing in five.

Junior Lori Vanbeek was outstanding as a blocker over the weekend, posting 19 blocks over nine sets for a 2.11 average. She had 10 blocks against Valparaiso, which is the most by a Horizon League player in a match this season. The Penguins averaged 3.33 blocks per set as a team, and they collectively outhit their opponents .224 to .197. Freshman Sarah Varcolla paced the hitters with 2.89 kills per set on a .263 attack percentage.

Following this weekend's matches, Youngstown State will begin a season-long four-match home stand that will extend to Nov. 10. The first match in the stretch will be against Cleveland State on Oct. 30 at 7 p.m.