Oct. 3, 2012
After a 2-0 road trip that included wins over South Florida and Pittsburgh, the No. 17 Louisville women's volleyball team is set to host Seton Hall, Rutgers, and No. 9 Texas from Oct. 6 through Oct. 8.
On Oct. 6 the Cardinals match will be against Seton Hall at Cardinal Arena at 12:00 p.m., ET. Seton Hall (15-2, 3-1 BIG EAST) is off to its best start since the beginning of the 1994 season. The Pirates have put together a string of conference wins against Pittsburgh, South Florida, and Georgetown. The lone conference loss to this point in the season for the Pirates came at the hands of Villanova. The only other loss that Seton Hall has suffered this season was to a strong opponent in No. 19 Ohio State early in the year.
The Seton Hall Pirates will be led by the sophomore duo of the Manthorpe twins out of Merion Station, Pa. Setter Shelby Manthorpe was selected on Oct. 1 to the BIG EAST Volleyball Weekly Honor Roll for the second straight week after leading the Pirates by recording her fourth triple-double of the season. Shelby Manthorpe was also named BIG EAST Volleyball Player of the Week on Aug. 27. Her sister, Stacey Manthorpe, has also been named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll twice this season. Newcomer Amanda Hansen has been honored this year as well as she has been named the BIG EAST Volleyball Freshman of the Week two times.
Stacey Manthorpe leads the Pirates this year with 182 kills (2.94 k/set) and outside hitter Molly Grammer ranks second on the squad with 164 kills (2.65 k/set). The Pirates have used a balanced attack on offense as Shelby Manthorpe has added 133 kills (2.15 k/set) and outside hitter Simona Sekulove has tallied 127 kills (2.23 k/set) on the year. Seton Hall's offensive options have led them to an attack percentage on the season of .232 to only .146 from their opponents. Setter Shelby Manthorpe will be looking to set all of her teammates up this weekend as she has recorded 482 assists for an average of 7.77 assists per set.
The next match for the Cardinals will be on Oct. 7 against Rutgers at the KFC Yum! Center starting at 12:00 p.m., ET. Rutgers (15-4, 1-3) will have a match on Oct. 5 against Cincinnati before facing Louisville. In BIG EAST play, the Scarlet Knights have notched a win against Georgetown, but have suffered losses to South Florida, Pittsburgh, and Villanova. The only other loss on the season came to Miami (Fla.) who is ranked No. 33 in voting in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
The Scarlet Knights will also be presenting a balanced offensive attack when they face Louisville this weekend. There have been four members of the team to reach the 200-kill mark already this year. Middle blocker Sarah Schmid leads the team with 257 kills (3.47 k/set), second on the team is Alex Lassa with 217 kills (3.74 k/set, then Alex Jones with 206 kills (2.78 k/set), and finally Kylie Orr who has recorded 204 kills for an average of 3.00 kills per set. The variety of offensive threats has given Rutgers an attack percentage of .224 for the season and they have limited opponents to a percentage of .179. Setter Stephanie Zielinksi leads the Scarlett Knights with 849 total assits (11.47 a/set) this season. Zielinski was named the Sept. 17 BIG EAST Player of the Week. On Sept. 17 Sarah Schmid also was honored as BIG EAST Freshman of the Week and Alex Lassa made Honor Roll.
October 8th will bring a non-conference matchup against No. 9 Texas, which will be held at the KFC Yum! Center starting at 7:00 p.m., ET. The Texas Longhorns (11-3, 3-0 Big 12) have a handful of quality wins this season including victories against No. 10 Minnesota, No. 11 Florida, No. 15 San Diego, and Oklahoma (No. 26 in the AVCA Coaches Poll). The three losses for the Longhorns have been to No. 1 Penn State, No. 10 Minnesota, and No. 21 Illinois. Before coming to Louisville, Texas will have matches on Oct. 3 against TCU and Oct. 6 when they face No. 14 Kansas State.
On Sept. 24 outside hitter Haley Eckerman was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and she is leading the Longhorns with 204 kills (4.43 k/set) this year. Outside hitter Bailey Webster has complemented Eckerman with 158 kills for an average of 3.59 kills per set. Leading the Longhorns in assists is Hannah Allison who has racked up 345 this season for an average of 7.50 assists per set. The Longhorns have made their presence known at the net against their opponents. Texas has totaled 154.0 blocks to only 75.0 blocks from their opponents. Khat Bell leads the team with 47 blocks (1.31 blk/set), second on the team is Sh'Dare McNeal with 45 blocks (1.10 blk/set) and Molly McCage has added 40 blocks (1.38 blk/set). The Texas Longhorns have also used smart gameplay to trump their opponents this year as they have only committed 181 errors, while forcing their opponents into 310 errors.
Louisville will hit the road for five consecutive matches following the upcoming home contests. The team will travel to St. Johns, Connecticut, Syracuse, Marquette, and Cincinnati. The Cardinals will then return home on Nov. 2 for a match against Villanova.