The Tiffin University volleyball team got a tough draw in the Midwest Region Crossover Tournament, playing Drury University, Hillsdale College, and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. The three teams have combined to post a 38-18 record.
Drury University Panthers – GLVC
The Panthers sit 14-5 overall, starting the season by winning 14 of their first 16 games. Drury has hit a brief skid over the course of their last three games, falling in 3-1, 3-0, and 3-2 matches. The three losses are all GLVC games, dropping the Panthers' conference record to 6-4. Prior to the start of the 2017 season, the Panthers were picked to finish 3rd in the GLVC West Division.
Last Matchup: The Dragons and Panthers last tangled on October 26, 2013 in the Crossover Tournament. Tiffin took that matchup 3-1.
Outplaying the Coaches' Poll: The Panthers are in 2nd in the GLVC West at 6-4, sitting a half game out of 1st place behind Rockhurst.
Tough Schedule: The Panthers have been challenged this season, playing some of the top teams in the nation. Lewis University, a GLVC opponent of Drury's, is the #1 team in the nation, and two other GLVC institutions are receiving votes in the national poll.
Youth Movement: The Panthers are a talented bunch, but also a young bunch. The Panthers feature only one senior and five juniors on their roster.
Players To Watch:
Bentley Mara: The junior outside hitter leads the Panthers in kills, racking up 218 (3.35 k/s). Currently, she is 6th in the GLVC in kills and 4th in hitting percentage.
Kendra Sater: Leading the Panthers and GLVC in assists and assists per set, Sater is the offensive catalyst for Drury. Kendra has 799 assists, 62 kills, and 12 service aces.
Hilldale College Chargers – G-MAC
Series Record: The Chargers hold an 11-2 lead in the series. Tiffin did top the Chargers last season, winning in four sets.
The Chargers' volleyball program historically has had great success, posting a 212-97 record over the past 10 seasons. This year Hillsdale is again dominating the competition, sitting 15-3 overall and 8-2 in conference games. The Chargers enter the Crossover Tournament on quite a run, having won eight straight matches.
Domination: Of their 15 victories this year, 13 have come in straight sets. In games the Chargers have won, Hillsdale has gone to five sets only once.
Net Efficiency: The Chargers are 7th in the nation in hitting percentage (.279). On the flip side, opponents have had little success hitting against the Chargers, posting a .129 hitting percentage.
Aces All Around: The Chargers are 18th in the nation in service aces per set, with 1.98 per set. As a team, the Chargers have 119 aces.
Players To Watch:
Kara Vyletel: Leading the Chargers with 202 kills, Kara has been the go to for Hillsdale. She is 35th in the nation in kills per set at 3.96.
Taylor Wiese: Leading the Chargers in service aces with 22, Wiese also leads Hillsdale in digs with 296.
University of Wisconsin-Parkside Rangers – GLVC
The Rangers are a game under .500 at 9-10 overall. In the GLVC Wisconsin-Parkside is 6-4. The Rangers have been hit and miss all season, not having a winning streak in excess of two games. In the GLVC preseason coaches' poll, the Rangers were picked to finish 4th in the GLVC East.
Series Record: The Rangers have never lost to Tiffin, holding a 5-0 all-time lead. The last matchup between these two came on October 16, 2015 with the Rangers defeating Tiffin in straight sets.
A Pattern: The Rangers enter the Crossover Tournament on a two game winning streak, but a loss after a short streak has been the pattern. Wisconsin-Parkside has had two previous winning streaks snapped, one in straight sets, the other in five.
Errors On The Attack: The Rangers have committed the 5th most errors in the GLVC at 398. They are 11th of 15 teams in hitting percentage at .153 and are 13th in total kills.
Win Some, Lose Some On The Serve: The Rangers are tied for the lead in the GLVC in aces per set at 1.56. Conversely, the opposition is averaging 1.13 aces per set against the Rangers, the 4th highest in the conference.
Players To Watch:
Lexi Turek: Leading the Rangers in kills with 166, Lexi is 9th in the GLVC in kills, 7th in hitting percentage, and has committed the 3rd fewest attack errors.
Annie Leo: The defensive specialist is a force at the service line, leading the GLVC in aces per set at 0.44. Her 30 aces leads the conference, and her 351 digs are 5th most.
Tiffin Record Watch:
Taylor Lattimore has amassed 2,141 career digs. She currently is 3rd in Tiffin's record book, which encompasses stats regardless of divisions. To reach 2nd, she needs 253 more digs.
In the GLIAC, Lattimore is 2nd all-time in career digs, needing 347 more to own the top spot.
In the NCAA Division II record book, Taylor needs 330 more digs to break into the top 25 all-time.