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The 2008 regular season comes to a close this week for the 9th-ranked Truman volleyball squad with a pair of home matches. The Bulldogs (27-7, 14-4 MIAA) face Northwest Missouri on Friday night before celebrating Senior Night in the regular season finale against Missouri Western on Saturday evening.
About the Bearcats:
After a mid-October win in Maryville, the Bulldogs will look to secure a season sweep of the Northwest Missouri Bearcats (9-22, 6-12 MIAA) on Friday night in Kirksville.
Northwest will face Missouri Western - Truman’s Saturday opponent – at home before facing the Bulldogs in their final match of 2008 on Friday. Amber Ryan (2.78 kills/set, 0.83 blocks/set) paces the team in two categories as a sophomore, while fellow sophomore Paige Spangenberg recently set a new program record after surpassing 620 digs on the year.
Truman hit .277 and held Northwest to a .000 hitting percentage on Oct. 17, as the Bulldogs cruised to a 3-0 win. Eli Medina led Truman with 10 kills.
Anna Tool is in her third season at Northwest and has a 78-80 career record in five total seasons split between Northwest and Virginia Wesleyan.
About the Griffons:
Missouri Western’s 2008 season will come to a close on Saturday night in Kirksville, as the Griffons (4-30, 1-17 MIAA) serve as Truman’s senior night opponent in Pershing Arena.
Finding consistent offense has plagued Missouri Western in 2008, as no player hits better than .123. Sophomore Kelli Sicner (2.06 k/s; .121 hitting) and sophomore Meghan Voelz (2.05 k/s; .090 hitting) are the squad’s top offensive threats, and both rank in the top-three on the squad in digs per set.
Eli Medina and Melissa Keck each finished with double-figure kills in Truman’s 3-1 win at Missouri Western on Oct. 18. The Bulldogs were held to just .105 offensively but had its defense step up for the second consecutive night by holding the Griffons to a .000 mark.
Tiffany Mastin is in her second season at Missouri Western and has a 33-86 career record in five total seasons as a head coach.
Truman vs. Northwest Missouri (Truman leads all-time series 51-24-1).
This season: Truman won 3-0 on Oct. 17 in Maryville.
Truman vs. Missouri Western (Truman leads all-time series 37-20).
This season: Truman won 3-1 on Oct. 18 in St. Joseph.
Bulldog Coaching Staff:
Jason Skoch is in his fourth year as head coach of the Bulldog volleyball program. He has compiled a 131-21 (.862) overall record and has a 52-8 (.867) mark in MIAA contests. He is assisted by Ben Briney, who is also in his fourth season at Truman.
Last Week’s Recap:
Nov. 5 - Truman won vs. #14 Central Missouri, 3-1 (21-25, 27-25, -15, -15)
Nov. 8 - Truman won at Nebraska-Omaha, 3-2 (20-25, -21, -14, 24-26, 15-12)
*For full recaps, visit gobulldogs.truman.edu*
Cherven Chart Watch:
Senior middle blocker Allie Cherven has a chance to sign her name to multiple career chart lists this week. With just three more kills, Cherven will become the 13th Truman player to reach the 1,000 kill mark and third this season (Eli Medina, Melissa Keck).
She already has become the program’s leading blocker in the rally-scoring era with 483 total blocks and could crack the MIAA’s top-10 list with just four more. Northwest Missouri State’s Jill Quast (1997-2000) currently holds the conference’s No. 10 spot with 487 career blocks.
Cherven would become just the second player on the chart whose MIAA career will be less than four seasons, as she transferred to Truman from the University of Pittsburgh (Pa.) prior to her sophomore season.
- In last week’s NCAA national statistics rankings, Truman ranked seventh in blocks/set (2.48), 14th in kills/set (13.98) and 16th in assists/set (12.81). Individually, Allie Cherven ranked 12th in the nation in blocks (1.18/set), while Whitney Boehler was 43rd in digs (4.68/set). Allie Cherven (42nd; .335) and Melissa Keck (47th; .332) also ranked in the top-50 individuals for hitting percentage.
- The only category in which Truman wasn’t in the top-25 as a team in the national statistics rankings was service aces.
- The Bulldogs have now been ranked in the Bison/AVCA top-25 124 consecutive times dating back to the first regular season poll in 2000.
- Truman is 57-14 in sets decided by five or more points and is a perfect 20-0 in matches after going up two sets to none.
Following Saturday’s match against Missouri Western, the Bulldogs will wait for official word regarding the NCAA Tournament. The bracket is set to be released on Monday (Nov. 20) morning, and all postseason information will be released on Truman’s Athletic Web site at gobulldogs.truman.edu.
The Bulldogs will be aiming for the program’s ninth consecutive postseason appearance and 10th overall, as the squad has made the NCAA Tournament each year since 2000.