The Cleveland State volleyball team will close out the first half of Horizon League play this week, hosting Northern Kentucky and traveling to Green Bay. The Vikings will host the Norse in a midweek matchup on Wednesday, October 11 and will then take on the Phoenix on Friday, October 13. Entering the week, Cleveland State stands at 10-7 overall and owns an even 3-3 record in Horizon League play.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS
Northern Kentucky | The Norse enter Wednesday's contest on a two-match winstreak and have won three out of their last four matches. With a 4-2 mark in league play, NKU is tied for second in the league standings, while the Norse own an 8-7 overall record this year.
Green Bay | The Phoenix enter the week with an 8-9 overall record and a 4-2 mark in league play. After picking up four straight wins to begin #HLVB play, Green Bay has lost two straight against Wright State and IUPUI. Entering Friday's contest the Phoenix are tied for second in the league standings.
GREGA EARNS #HLVB WEEKLY HONORS
After averaging 6.14 digs per set last weekend, senior libero Shannon Grega was named the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Week on Monday afternoon. Through two matches, Grega combined for 43 digs, posting 19 against YSU and a career-high tying 24 at Oakland. This marked the second weekly honor of Grega's career, and the second #HLVB weekly accolade for the Vikings this season.
…GREGA CONTINUES CLIMB UP CSU CAREER RECORD BOOK
Following her 24-dig performance at Oakland last time out, Shannon Grega moved into fourth place in the CSU Career Record Book with 1,248 career digs. Grega, who leads the league averaging 5.22 digs per set in league matches only, needs just two more digs to reach the 1,250-dig plateau – and would become just the fourth Viking all-time to do so.
…CONTINUES TO INCH CLOSER TO SERVICE ACES TOP-10
Shannon Grega has also been strong from the service line this season, as she enters the week leading the Horizon League averaging 0.45 service aces per set. Grega, who recorded an ace against Youngstown State last weekend, has 92 on her career and is inching closer to a spot on the top-10 list in the CSU Career Record Book. Nationally, Grega ranks 30th with her 0.45 aces per set and 34th with 29 total service aces this season.
KILNER CLOSING IN ON 4,000 CAREER ASSISTS
Entering this week's matches senior Gina Kilner is closing in on 4,000 career assists, entering Wednesday's match against Northern Kentucky with 3,911 helpers. Kilner, who ranks third in the Horizon League averaging 10.95 assists per set this season, would become the fifth Viking all-time to surpass 4,000 career assists. Among Horizon League players, Kilner would be just the second setter to eclipse the 4,000-assist mark (Nicole Johnson, UIC).
MIDDLEBROOKS ON THE BLOCK
Senior middle hitter Alexis Middlebrooks continued to work her way up the CSU Career Record Book in block assists and total blocks last weekend, finishing the weekend ranked fifth with 350 block assists and sixth with 397 total blocks. Middlebrooks, who is just three blocks shy of becoming the sixth Viking all-time to eclipse the 400-block mark, is averaging 0.89 blocks per set this season. So far this season, Middlebrooks has recorded a season-high six total blocks twice – against Oral Roberts and Binghamton.
…ALSO STRONG ON THE OFFENSIVE SIDE
Entering the fourth week of Horizon League play, Alexis Middlebrooks is closing in on her 1,000th career kill, entering the week's matches with 956 career kills. Middlebrooks is leading the Vikings averaging 3.23 kills per set this season and ranks seventh among Horizon League players. Through 17 matches this season, Middlebrooks has tallied double-digit kills on 10 occasions, including a career-high tying 20-kill effort against Alabama in the season opener. Middlebrooks would become the 16th Viking all-time to eclipse 1,000 career kills.
DeGEORGE HAVING STRONG ROOKIE CAMPAIGN
Freshman outside hitter Emily DeGeorge has been having an excellent first season at Cleveland State, appearing in all 17 matches and picking up a starting spot in 11 of them. For the season, DeGeorge is averaging 1.57 kills per set and 2.74 digs per set, and has been playing as an all-around player for the majority of the contests. Last time out she recorded a season-high 20 digs at Oakland, while she notched a season-best 13 kills against Alabama in the season opener earlier this year.
Wednesday's match against Northern Kentucky will mark just the third home contest of the season for the Vikings, as they spent their entire non-league slate on the road - and have played 15 of their first 17 matches away from home. Over the last three seasons the Vikings have posted a 23-5 record when playing in Woodling Gymnasium, and have won 10 of their last 11 home matches dating back to the 2016 season.
KILNER NOTCHES TRIPLE-DOUBLE
Earlier this season, senior setter Gina Kilner recorded the first triple-double of her career, posting 46 assists, 14 digs and 10 kills against IUPUI. Kilner, who is just the fourth Viking to record a triple-double under head coach Chuck Voss, is the second #HLVB player to achieve the feat this season (Jordan Lentz, Oakland) and just one of 23 players nationally.
2017 WEEKLY #HLVB HONORS
o far this season the Vikings have been honored twice by the Horizon League, as senior setter Gina Kilner was named the #HLVB Offensive Player of the Week on September 11 and senior libero Shannon Grega was named the #HLVB Defensive Player of the Week on October 9.
HEAD COACH CHUCK VOSS
Chuck Voss is in his 18th season at the helm of the Vikings, and owns a 325-202 (.616) overall record at CSU. Under Voss the Vikings have recorded 14 winning seasons, including eight straight entering the 2017 season. Cleveland State has eclipsed the 20-win mark seven times since Voss took over the program, and has captured Horizon League Tournament titles four times (2007, 2012, 2015 & 2016) under his guidance. Last season Voss became the all-time winningest coach in program history while also eclipsing the 300-win mark for his Cleveland State career - becoming the only active Horizon League coach to achieve the feat at their current school.
The Vikings will begin the second half of Horizon League play at home next weekend, hosting UIC (Friday, October 20) and Milwaukee (Saturday, October 21) in a weekend series. Friday's match against UIC will be Cleveland State's annual 'Volley for the Cure' match, while Saturday's match will be a 'Block Party' with trick-or-treating available pre-match for kids 12 and under.