MOUNT PLEASANT -- Looking to extend its three-match winning streak the Central Michigan volleyball team heads to the Milwaukee-Marquette Invitational aiming for another strong weekend in the third of four-consecutive tournaments to open the 2010 season.
CMU (3-3) travels to face Milwaukee (2-4) on Friday at 1 p.m., before heading south on US-41 to square off with Wisconsin (6-0) at noon and Creighton (3-4) at 6:30 p.m., on Saturday at Marquette University's Al McGuire Center.
Junior outside hitter Kerri Schuh’s 3.0 kills/set leads the Panthers, who enter the weekend having lost four straight decisions. Junior libero Morgan Potter (3.67 digs/set) and middle blocker Natalie Schmitting (1.11 blocks/set) lead the UWM defense.
Milwaukee is hitting .190 as a squad while its opponents connect at a .199 clip.
The Badgers have yet to lose a set this season, hitting .282 as a squad and holding opponents to just an .056 clip.
Freshman outside hitter Ellse Walch leads UW with 4.1 kills/set while senior libero Kim Kuzma spearheads the defensive effort with 5.2 digs/set.
The Jays took two-of-three at the Active Ankle Challenge in St. Louis, Mo., last weekend.
Alicia Runge's 4.4 kills per set highlight the CU attack, and the stout Jays defense features two players averaging better than four digs per frame in Nayka Benitez (5.4) and Allie Oelke (4.0), and four individuals averaging better than a block per set.
The Chippewas are coming off a 3-0 weekend at the Youngstown State Invitational led by tournament MVP Lauren Krupsky, who leads the Maroon and Gold at 3.5 kills/set. Freshman libero Jenna Coates leads the Central Michigan defense with 3.2 digs/set.
CMU enters the weekend hitting .211 as a squad while allowing opponents to connect at .203.
Live stats will be available for all three matches, courtesy of UWMPanthers.com and GoMarquette.com.
Honored -- Outside hitter Lauren Krupsky and setter Catherine Ludwig earned all-tournament honors at the Youngstown State Invitational last weekend. Krupsky was named the event's MVP, averaging 4.1 kills per set. Ludwig guided the CMU offense to a .298 hitting percentage and averaged 11.3 assists per frame. It was the second all-tournament honor of the season for Krupsky and the first of Ludwig's career.
Full Reverse -- After struggling to an 0-3 mark on the season's opening weekend against tough competition at the Purdue Mortar Board Premier, the Chippewas turned things around and went 3-0 at the YSU Invitational to even their mark at .500.
Sophomore Stride -- Val DeWeerd hit .368 last week and averaged 3.1 kills per set to go with eight blocks. She piled up a career-best 14 kills against Youngstown State on Sept. 4.
Freshman 44 -- Jenna Coates piled up 44 digs last weekend (4.4/set) at the Youngstown State Invitational, including a season-best 22 digs against Niagara in a 3-1 win (9/3).
Home Again -- Head Coach Erik Olson was an assistant coach at Milwaukee for one season (2000) and helped the Panthers to a 23-5 mark, a Midwestern Collegiate Conference regular season title and an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. The Milwaukee native also graduated from UWM in 1997 as a four-year letterwinner for the Panthers and at the end of his career held Milwaukee's all-time blocks record.