Volleyball Hosts Green Bay, Milwaukee This Weekend

YSU Volleyball (Photo by Rob Hayes)
YSU Volleyball (Photo by Rob Hayes)

The Youngstown State volleyball team remains at Beeghly Center to host two more Horizon League matches this weekend. The Penguins will take on league-leading Green Bay on Friday at 6 p.m., and they'll host Milwaukee on Saturday at 4 p.m. Live video of Friday evening's match will be streamed live on ESPN+, and live stats of both matches will be available through YSUsports.com.

Promotions and Parking Advisory

  • Fans who attend Friday evening's volleyball match will receive a free ticket to Saturday's football game against Indiana State.
  • At Saturday's match, fans will receive a volleyball team photo.
  • Parking will be fuller than normal on Saturday due to the YSU football game that begins at 2 p.m. Fans attending the volleyball match are encouraged to park in the M-60 Deck on Fifth Avenue or the M-30 Deck on Wick Avenue.
  • Parking Information
  • Visitors Guide

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State is 7-16 overall and 1-9 in Horizon League play as it starts to wind down its home schedule. The Penguins conclude a four-match home stand this week, and their home finale will be Nov. 4 against UIC.
  • The Penguins have already matched their conference win total from last season, and they are one win shy of tying their overall win total. YSU has replaced a four-year starter and six-rotation player, its starting libero from the past two seasons and its starting setter from last year.
  • YSU won its first three matches of the campaign and was 5-2 after impressive wins over UNLV and Duquesne at the Duquesne Invitational on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1.
  • Youngstown State ranks 18th in the country with 17.70 digs per set, which is 3.06 digs more than it averaged in 2017. YSU hasn't averaged more than 15.5 digs per set since sets were taken from 30 points down to 25 prior to the 2008 season.
  • Aleah Hughes and Margaux Thompson have combined for 1,472 of YSU's 3,262 attacks, which equates to 45.1 percent. They have also accounted for 442 of 992 kills (44.5 percent) and 612 of 1,469 digs (41.7 percent).
  • Hughes and Northern Kentucky's Haley Libs are the only two players who rank among the Horizon League's top 10 in both kills and digs per set. Hughes sits eighth in both categories with 2.82 kills per set and 3.81 digs per set.
  • Hughes is the only player in the conference to lead her team in both kills and digs per set. She's vying to become the first Penguin since 2003 to lead the squad in both categories. If she can get her averages back to more than three kills and four digs per set, she'd be the first YSU player to post those numbers since 1993.
  • Sarah Varcolla ranks eighth in school history with 367 blocks, and she is 38 shy of fifth place. She has 84 blocks this season, and she would become just the fourth Penguin to notch three straight 100-block seasons if she can get 16 more in 2018. Varcolla is averaging 1.24 blocks per set since the start of Horizon League play.
  • Aline Scott is in her first season as YSU's head coach. She is the 10th head coach in program history, and she is a head coach at the Division I level for the first time in her career. She spent eight previous seasons coaching in Ohio, the previous three as the head coach at Division III Hiram and five as an assistant at Akron.

Recapping Last Week

  • Youngstown State went 0-2 at home last weekend in matches against the top two teams in the Horizon League Preseason Coaches Poll. The Penguins were sept 3-0 by Cleveland State on Friday and fell 3-2 to Oakland on Saturday.
  • YSU held a 2-1 lead in the match against Oakland, and it was up 17-14 in the fourth set. The Golden Grizzlies turned the match by scoring six straight points as part of an 11-2 run to end the fourth set, and they won the fifth 15-6.
  • The Penguins were at a scheduling disadvantage for the second time this season against the Golden Grizzlies. Oakland was idle on Friday while YSU played Cleveland State. During the first half of league play, YSU played at Cleveland State on a Friday evening then traveled 200 miles to play at Oakland the next afternoon. Oakland was off on that Friday as well.
  • After rotating between libero and outside hitter the past few weeks, both Margaux Thompson and Aleah Hughes were back to their normal roles as six-rotation players. Hughes led the Penguins with both 17 kills and 21 digs in the eight sets last week. Thompson contributed 16 kills, and libero Reis Zandier had 20 digs.
  • Hughes and Thompson both had double-doubles in the five-setter against Oakland. Thompson finished with 14 kills and 12 digs, and Hughes contributed 13 kills and 14 digs.
  • Sarah Varcolla had nine blocks last week to increase her career total to 367, which is the eighth-most in program history. She had seven of those blocks last week in the match against Oakland.
  • Alexia Byrnes played in all eight sets and led the Penguins with 41 assists. She missed eight straight matches between Sept. 14 and Oct. 5, and she played sparingly on the road the previous weekend.

Scouting Opponents

  • Green Bay: Green Bay will come to Youngstown leading the Horizon League with a 9-1 mark in conference play and a 14-8 overall record. The Phoenix have won nine straight matches since dropping their league opener on Sept. 21 at Northern Kentucky. Green Bay leads the Horizon League with a .201 attack percentage, and it ranks second with 13.42 kills per set. Taylor Wolf is a conference Player-of-the-Year candidate with a league-best 4.43 kills per set. Ashley Sledge paces the league with a .304 attack percentage, and Maddie Yoss averages a league-best 10.66 assists per set.
  • Milwaukee: Milwaukee enters the week ranked fourth in the Horizon League with a 6-4 record in the conference and a 7-16 overall mark. The Panthers have won four straight matches and five of their six matches in October. UWM ranks fourth in the conference with 12.45 kills per set, and it sits between fourth and sixth in hitting percentage, assists, aces and digs. Carmen Heilemann averages a team-best 2.7 kills per set, , and Jess Grabowski ranks fourth in the conference with 4.87 digs per set.

Next Week

  • Youngstown State will finish the month by playing at Northern Kentucky at 6 p.m. on Halloween, and the Penguins will return home to host UIC on Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. That match against the Flames will be the home finale and senior night for the Penguins.