Penn State @ Wisconsin
Where:Madison, WI (Wisconsin Field House)
When: Friday — 11-15-13 (8:00 p.m. ET)
Media: CBSsports.com’s GameTracker (Hello Big Ten: Why isn’t this match on TV? Hello? Anyone home?)
The Buzz on Wisconsin. #14 Wisconsin (19-7 overall, 8-6 B1G). In the NCAA’s most recent RPI ranking, Wisconsin comes in at #16 (Penn State is ranked #2) (for the complete RPI rankings, Click Here). Key offensive players for Wisconsin include 6-4 Jr. OH Ellen Chapman (3.41 kills/set), 6-0 Jr. S/OH Courtney Thomas (2.69 kills/set), 5-7 Jr. OH/DS Deme Morales (2.61 kills/set), and 5-11 RS Jr. MB Dominique Thomas (2.38 kills/set). Defensive leaders include 5-6 So. L Taylor Morey (2.92 digs/set), 5-8 Sr. DS/L Annemarie Hickey (3.71 digs/set), 6-2 Fr. setter Lauren Carlini (2.90 digs/set), Thomas (2.80 digs/set) and Morales (2.50 digs/set).
Kelly Sheffield Quote for the Day: “We went to their place. I think we battled with them pretty tight. We let a massive lead go by in Game 1 and in Game 2, we had a little bit of lead, and they kind of pulled ahead. Game 3 was back and forth. We felt like we let an opportunity slip by at their place. They’re good. There’s no question about it. They’re good. They’re talented. They’re experienced but we feel like we’ve got a pretty good ball club as well. It’s one of the monsters right now and we’re certainly excited about that opportunity on our home court to get a piece of them.” Quote courtesy of uwbadgers.com.
The Buzz on Penn State: Head Coach Russ Rose on Big Ten conference matches (interview with Wynton Jake Somerville of The Daily Collegian): “They’re all hard. There’s not one you look forward to. You better be ready to play because you’re going to be challenged.”
Notwithstanding Coach Rose’s view (which we share), some folks think Penn State has already established itself as the best team in the B1G.
Certainly, one could find statistics that would suggest that may be true. Penn State is ranked #2 in the latest AVCA poll , it sports a 22-2 overall record (13-1 in the B1G), a .323 team hitting % (1st in the B1G) and has limited its opponents to a .128 hitting % (also 1st in the B1G). Still, there are plenty of matches to play, and they’re all tough.
So whether that “best team in the B1G“ is theoretically true (or not), it is totally irrelevant in terms of the outcome of tonight’s match against the Badgers. Just as Penn State’s 41-7 all-time record against the Badgers is totally irrelevant. In volleyball, it’s not even “what have you done for me lately,” it’s “what are you doing for me right now.”
And right now, we are quite certain that no one — as in zero people — on the Wisconsin team or staff is going into tonight’s match believing anything other than that the Badgers are going to defeat Penn State. Our guess (and hope) is that Penn State wins. But we might be wrong.
Here’s a quote from Nia Grant, in an interview with Wynton Jake Somerville of The Daily Collegian, that sums it up pretty well: ““I think every team is going to come at us with a little bit of aggression but we should be doing the same thing to everybody else.”
B1G Team Stats (as of 11/10/13)
B1G Individual Stats (as of 11/10/13)
Penn State 2013 Team Roster
|1||Scott, Ariel||RS||4/Sr.||6-4||Ridgewood||New Jersey|
|2||Caraway, Lara||DS||2/So.||5-4||Evans City||Pennsylvania|
|3||Pierce, Kendall||DS||2/So.||5-6||Eden||New York|
|4||Gonzalez, Dominique||DS||3/Jr.||5-6||San Antonio||Texas|
|8||Denny, Erica||MH||3/Jr. (RS)||6-5||Centennial||Colorado|
|9||Prieto Cerame, Paulina||OH||1/Fr. (RS)||6-2||Miami||Florida|
|10||Muller, Carley||DS||1/Fr.||5-7||Manhattan Beach||California|
|14||Whitney, Aiyana||OH||2/So. (RS)||6-5||Ridgewood||New Jersey|
|15||Harding, Maggie||DS||4/Sr.||5-6||State College||Pennsylvania|
|16||Slay, Katie||MH||4/Sr.||6-6||Raleigh||North Carolina|
|24||Broerman, Laura||DS||1/Fr.||5-4||Colorado Springs||Colorado|
|33||Fuller, Lacey||DS||3/Jr.||5-6||San Diego||California|