Volleyball Hosts Wright State, IUPUI in Home-Opening Weekend

Aleah Hughes (photo by Regina Thompson)
Aleah Hughes (photo by Regina Thompson)

After playing its first 15 matches of the season on the road, the Youngstown State volleyball team will finally play a home contest as it hosts a pair of Horizon League foes this weekend at Beeghly Center. The Penguins will welcome Wright State on Friday at 6 p.m., and they'll take on IUPUI on Saturday at 4 p.m. Both matches will be streamed live on ESPN+, and live stats will be available through YSUsports.com.

Promotions & Event Information

  • Fans in attendance at Friday's match will receive a volleyball schedule magnet, courtesy of Medical Mutual of Ohio.
  • There will be three promotions at Saturday's match against the Jaguars. It will be the Marco's Pizza Pete's Kids Club Match as well as Pete the Penguin Photo Day. The 2018 team poster will also be given to fans, and the Penguins will have an autograph session after the match.
  • Parking Information
  • Visitors Guide

Scouting Report

  • Youngstown State begins the home portion of its schedule having won six of its first 15 matches. The Penguins will be looking to snap a six-match losing skid that continued with consecutive 3-0 losses to Cleveland State and Oakland last weekend to begin Horizon League play. 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.
  • YSU ranks seventh in the country with 18.23 digs per set, which is 3.59 more than it averaged in 2017. The Penguins are also fifth in the nation in attacks per set with 39.63.
  • Aleah Hughes is one of two players in the Horizon League to rank in the top 10 in the conference in both kills (fourth – 3.02) and digs (eighth – 3.91) per set. Margaux Thompson is third in the league with 3.16 kills per set.
  • Thompson and Hughes have combined for 1,069 of YSU's 2,219 attacks, which equates to 48.2 percent. Thompson has 588 attacks on her own after having 863 last season.
  • 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 was competitive but fell in straight sets to both Cleveland State and Oakland to begin Horizon League play last week. The Penguins fell 25-17, 25-19, 26-24 to the preseason favorite Vikings on Friday evening, then had to make the 200-mile trip to Oakland to play the Golden Grizzlies on Saturday. YSU lost 25-20, 25-23, 25-20 at Oakland, which was the preseason #2 and was idle on Friday.
  • Aleah Hughes posted 21 kills and 21 digs in the two matches for averages of 3.5 kills and 3.5 digs, and she posted a .241 attack percentage. She registered eight kills and 15 digs against Cleveland State, and she had 13 kills and six digs versus Oakland. That was the first time she was held below 10 digs this season.
  • Margaux Thompson led the team with 4.33 digs per set, and she added 2.83 kills per set. Thompson had an impressive 13 kills and 19 digs versus Cleveland State, and her 47 attempts against the Vikings were the most by a Penguin in a three-set match since 2007.
  • Giovanna Kuntze posted 60 assists in the six sets while running the offense. Over the last two weekends, she has averaged 9.73 assists and 3.4 digs.

Horizon League Rankings

  • Although YSU ranks seventh in the country in digs per set, it sits third in the Horizon League rankings. NKU averages 20 digs per set, and IUPUI is second nationally with 18.64 digs per set. YSU also ranks fourth in the conference in kills (12.61), assists (11.73) and aces per set (1.27).
  • Individually, Aleah Hughes ranks in the top 10 in the Horizon League in both kills and digs per set. The junior outside hitter ranks fourth with 3.02 kills per set, and she is eighth in digs per set. NKU's Haley Libs is the only other player who ranks in the top 10 in both of those categories.
  • Margaux Thompson ranks third in the conference with 3.16 kills per set, and Alexia Byrnes sits fifth in assists per set with an average of 7.53.

National Rankings

  • YSU ranks fifth nationally in team attacks per set (39.63), and it is seven in digs per set (18.23). The Penguins are 10th in total digs and 16th in total attacks.
  • Individually, Margaux Thompson is 52nd in total attacks (588) and 74th in attacks per set (10.50).

Scouting Opponents

  • Wright State: Wright State comes to Youngstown with a 9-5 overall record and 1-1 mark in Horizon League play. The Raiders earned a signature win at West Virginia on Aug. 25, and it split four-set matches against Milwaukee (loss) and UIC (win) over the weekend. Wright State leads the conference with 1.67 aces per set, and it sits third in hitting percentage and blocks per set. Abby Barcus averages a team-high 2.87 kills per set, and Celia Powers and Alannah Lemming rank fourth and sixth, respectively, in the Horizon League in blocks. The Raiders are under first-year head coach Allie Matters.
  • IUPUI: IUPUI is 3-13 overall and is coming off home losses to UIC and Green Bay over the weekend. The Jaguars rank second in the league and in the country with 18.64 digs per set. Two IUPUI players rank in the top 10 in the conference in kills per set as Maggie Gibson is sixth with 2.98 kills per set, and Elizabeth Scott is ninth with 2.73 per set. Abby Boatman, the team's top blocker in 2017, made her season debut this past weekend.

Next Week

  • Youngstown State has two matches next week in two different time zones. The Penguins will host Northern Kentucky on Wednesday at 6 p.m. to conclude their three-match homestand, and YSU will travel to UIC to play the Flames on Friday at 7 p.m. Eastern.