At a Glance
This week's SLIAC Game of the Week features two of the early front-runners this season on the volleyball court; Principia College and Webster University. The showdown will take place on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Elsah, Ill.
Principia College 'PANTHERS'
Principia comes into the match with a 16-3 overall record and a 9-2 mark in the SLIAC. Principia lost their last time out, a 3-0 match to Westminster, which snapped the team's nine-match winning streak.
The Panthers are one of the top defensive teams in the country, ranking 1st in digs per set at 25.1. The big difference this year has been the jump of their offense, ranking 2nd in the SLIAC with a .178 percentage. Sophia Hathaway and Emily Tippetts are both averaging 3.6 kills per set this season while Devon Marunde leads the conference at 9.0 assists per set. Mia Gill is averaging 6.5 digs per set and is nearing 500 on the season.
Webster University 'GORLOKS'
Webster is currently 13-6 overall and sits in first place in the SLIAC standings with a 12-1 record. The Gorloks most recently stepped out of conference, dropping matches to Thomas More and Washington-St. Louis last Friday.
The Gorloks have used a combination of offense (11.6 kills per set) and defense (1.7 blocks per set) to win 12 of their first 13 conference games this season. Their balanced attack features four players with over 80 kills this season with Torie Grassi (147) and Samantha Kruse (113) leading the way. A two-setter system (Kelsey Hamann and Ashley Robinson) has seen the addition of Jenna Rodriguez of late as a change of pace player. Defensively Maria Soffner is averaging 5.1 digs per set while Emi Beining and Rachel Mencel provide the net defense.
Last Meeting - September 9, 2017 in St. Louis, Mo. - BOX SCORE
- Webster leads the all-time series against Principia 54-8 with Principia's last win coming in the 2007 season.
- Webster has already secured a spot in the 2017 SLIAC Volleyball Tournament, marking a conference-best 23rd appearance.
- Principia is looking to claim a spot in the conference tournament for the first time since 2013.
- Even though they rank 2nd in the SLIAC in team kills per set, Webster's highest ranking player individually is Tori Grassi (10th).
- Principia's Mia Gill leads the nation in digs per set.
- DYK: Webster has made the SLIAC Tournament each year that it has been held.
- DYK: Principia is the only team with a player ranking in the top five in the conference in both kills per set and hitting percentage, and they have TWO with Sophia Hathaway and Emily Tippetts.