The Cleveland State volleyball team will close out its non-league slate at home this weekend, hosting Niagara and Kent State on Friday, September 20. Friday will mark the first time that the Vikings are playing in the friendly confines of Woodling Gymnasium this season, and will mark the end of an 11-match non-league schedule.
HOME COURT ADVANTAGE
Friday's matches against Niagara and Kent State will be the first of 10 matches in Woodling Gymnasium for the Vikings during the 2019 campaign. Over the last four seasons, Cleveland State has enjoyed playing on its home court, as the Vikings own a 42-8 record in Woodling Gym during this span. Under head coach Chuck Voss, the Vikings stand at 151-73 when playing at home.
VIKINGS FACE TOUGH NON-LEAGUE SCHEDULE
Throughout the first part of the 2019 campaign, Cleveland State has faced one of its hardest non-league schedules in recent years. The Vikings have gone up against a pair of top-15 teams, two teams that were receiving votes in the top-25 poll, six teams that made a postseason appearance last year, and five teams that recorded 20+ wins during the 2018 campaign. In addition, all of these matchups have taken place away from home, as Cleveland State spent the first three weeks of the season on the road.
POSTSEASON HONOREES RETURN
The 2019 Vikings welcome back four Horizon League postseason honorees, as Trinniti Hall (First Team), Emily DeGeorge (Honorable Mention), Hannah Greene (Honorable Mention), and Christina Grecol (All-Freshman Team) were all honored last fall. DeGeorge enters the 2019 campaign as the only Viking to earn multiple #HLVB postseason honors, as she was also named to the All-Freshman Team in 2017.
TOUT NAMED TO BLUEGRASS BATTLE ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
After leading the Viking defense with 5.27 digs per set last weekend, sophomore libero Lindsey Tout was named to the Bluegrass Battle All-Tournament Team. Tout combined for 58 total digs in the three matches, including a career-high 24 digs against FGCU. Tout also posted 22 digs against Indiana, and has now recorded 20+ digs during four matches this season.
…2019 ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM HONORS
With her Bluegrass Battle All-Tournament Team selection, Lindsey Tout became the third Viking to earn All-Tournament honors this season, joining Hannah Greene and Trinniti Hall. Hall earned a spot on the Panther Challenge and Hampton Inn BGSU Invite All-Tournament Teams, while Greene picked up her accolade at the Hampton Inn BGSU Invite.
The 2019 edition of the Cleveland State volleyball team features seven true freshmen, marking the highest number of rookies for the Vikings over the last seven seasons. Four of these newcomers have played a significant role for the Vikings so far this season, including defensive specialist Audrey McConihe who has appeared in all but one set for Cleveland State.
So far this season the Cleveland State defense has been filled with new faces, as three of CSU's primary passers entered the year with limited or no collegiate experience. Sophomore Lindsey Tout is serving as the Viking libero this season averaging a team-high 4.56 digs per set, while freshmen Audrey McConihe (2.55 digs/set) and Julia Piccolino (2.16 digs/set) have appeared in all but two sets as part of the CSU defense. This youthful trio is joined by junior Emily DeGeorge, who enters the weekend averaging 3.41 digs per set as a six rotation player.
…DeGEORGE CLOSING IN ON 1,000 CAREER DIGS
Entering the 2019 campaign, Emily DeGeorge is closing in on the 1,000-dig mark for her career, standing at 878 after the first three weeks of the season. DeGeorge, who set a CSU freshman class record with 325 digs as a rookie, is averaging 3.41 digs per set this year and has posted a pair of 20-dig performances. DeGeorge would become the 20th Viking to reach the 1,000-dig plateau, and would make 2019 the fifth straight year that a Viking has joined the 1K dig club.
GRECOL CLOSING IN ON CAREER ASSIST TOP-10 LIST
Entering the final week of non-league play, sophomore Christina Grecol is closing in on the top-10 career assist list at Cleveland State, as she currently has 1,417 career helpers. Grecol, who is averaging 9.59 assists per set this season, is just 28 assists shy of cracking the top-10 list. So far this season, Grecol has combined for 326 total helpers, including a season-high 54 assists against Butler.
HEAD COACH CHUCK VOSS
Chuck Voss is in his 20th season at the helm of the Vikings, and owns a 356-222 (.615) overall record at Cleveland State. Under Voss the Vikings have recorded 16 winning seasons, including 10 straight entering the 2019 season. Cleveland State has eclipsed the 20-win mark eight times since Voss took over the program, and has captured Horizon League Tournament titles five times (2007, 2012, 2015, 2016 & 2017) under his guidance. During the 2016 season Voss became the all-time winningest coach in program history, and then last season became the only active Horizon League coach to reach the 350-win mark at their current school.
The Vikings will begin Horizon League play next weekend, traveling to IUPUI on Friday, September 27 and Northern Kentucky on Saturday, September 28.