Rutgers Visits Maryland In BTN Match Then Heads To Ohio State

  0 volleymob | October 04th, 2017 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

Press Release courtesy of Rutgers Athletics

Rutgers volleyball plays its first Big Ten road matches at Maryland and Ohio State, who is receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 Poll this week, on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 6-7. The Maryland match will be televised nationally on the Big Ten Network on Friday at 6 p.m. ET with Mike Wolf on play-by-play and Kim Kuzma on color commentary.

Friday’s match will be streamed live on with a TV provider online login, while Saturday’s match can be found on BuckeyeVision with a subscription.                   


  • Rutgers started Big Ten play 0-4 with straight-set losses to Northwestern and Illinois in the College Ave. Gym last weekend.
  • Freshman opposite hitter Kamila Cieslik has made an immediate impact on the Rutgers offense with a team-leading 3.18 kills/set. Cieslik was named to three All-Tournament Teams this preseason, including an MVP performance at the ECU Invitational. She made the Seton Hall Classic All-Tourrnament Team with 3.67 kills/set on a .424 hitting percentage, four service aces, 14 digs and eight blocks. She was also named to the Kangaroo Klassic All-Tournament Team with 21 kills, seven blocks and 18 digs. She served up at least one ace per match over that stretch with four total.
  • Junior Sahbria McLetchie is Rutgers’ top outside hitter with 2.81 kills/set, including a team-best 2.75 through four conference matches. In back-to-back matches against Buffalo and Seton Hall, she recorded 17 and 19 kills, respectively, before picking up a total of 15 against Iowa and No. 14 Nebraska during Big Ten opening weekend, and a match-high 11 against Illinois last Sunday.
  • Stepping into a starting role playing a new position, sophomore outside hitter Jillian Duffin has provided returns for those decisions over her last six matches. Duffin has 2.53 kills/set over that span while breaking double-figures in three of those contests. She produced 10 kills against the now-ranked No. 4 team in the nation, Nebraska, on Sept. 23, while also throwing down three blocks to give her eight total stuffs over her first six matches of the year.
  • Sophomore setter Megan Sharkey is approaching two milestones. With 981 career assists, she is 19 away from 1,000 and 101 away from cracking the Top 10 in all-time career assists in program history.
  • Sophomore Jasmine Stackhouse leads the Scarlet Knights at the net defensively with 0.94 blocks/set, while sophomore libero Karysa Swackenberg paces the backline with 2.78 digs/set.
  • The service line will continue to loom important for Rutgers, who ranks fifth in the Big Ten with 1.48 overall service aces per set. Cieslik leads the team in the ace department with 23 aces, which ranks second overall in the conference. Rutgers is 5-1 when out-acing an opponent, and 0-9 when it does not.
  • Sophomore middle blocker Stasa Miljevic, a transfer from Florida State, has at least five kills in eight matches this season, and has contributed to a total of 50 blocks. She is currently the most proficient Scarlet Knight in terms of attack percentage in Big Ten play with a mark of .175 with 1.00 kills/set.


  • Rutgers owns a 14-10 record over the Terps in the all-time series dating back to 1978. Maryland, however, is 5-1 against the Scarlet Knights since both programs joined the Big Ten in 2014. Rutgers’ only B1G victory was against Maryland, a five-set win in N.J. on Oct. 21, 2015. Last season, Maryland claimed the home-and-home series without dropping a set.
  • Ohio State is 6-1 against Rutgers since 1979, with Rutgers’ victory coming in 1981. As Big Ten opponents, the Buckeyes are 5-0 over the Scarlet Knights without losing a single set since the start of the 2014 season.


  • Maryland is guided by fourth-year head coach Steve Aird, who has begun a transformation for the Terps. A two-time NCAA Championship-winning assistant at Penn State, Aird is 49-63 overall at UMD and 13-51 in the Big Ten.
  • Ohio State is led by 10th-year headman Geoff Carlston, the fifth head coach in the 46-year history of the Buckeyes volleyball program. Carlston enters ’17 with a career winning percentage of .708in 14 yearsas a Division-I head coach, racking up 337 victories compared to just 139 defeats.

SCOUTING MARYLAND (12-4, 1-3 Big Ten)

  • With an 11-1 start to their season, Maryland received votes in the AVCA Top 25 Poll on Sept. 20 for the first time since being ranked in 2007.
  • The Terps dropped a pair of Big Ten matches at No. 16 Michigan State and No. 23 Michigan by 3-0 and 3-1 scores, respectively.
  • Sophomore outside hitter Gia Milana leads Maryland offensively and is averaging 3.21 kills/set while ranking second on the team with 2.30 digs/set.
  • As a senior, middle blocker Hailey Murray has stepped up as a leader in the front row. She is averaging 1.91 kills per set and 1.02 blocks per set, and currently ranks ninth in the nation with a .434 hitting percentage.
  • Freshman outside hitter Erika Pritchard has 2.95 kills/set and leads the Big Ten with 0.58 service aces per set, which ranks sixth nationally.

SCOUTING OHIO STATE (9-6, 2-2 Big Ten)

  • The Buckeyes dropped a pair of Big Ten contests at No. 23 Michigan and No. 16 Michigan State, which disrupted a four-match win streak that saw OSU lose just two sets with 15.2 kills and 15.0 digs per set.
  • The bulk of Ohio State’s point scoring comes via the kill, a category that ranks 19th in the nation with 14.23 per set over the course of the season.
  • Freshman libero Hannah Gruensfelder leads the Big Ten and ranks 47th nationally with her 4.87 digs/set.
  • Senior outside hitter Luisa Schirmer paces the hitters with 3.04 kills/set, while freshman Lauren Witte leads the middles with a .359 attack percentage and 1.13 blocks/set.
  • OSU was ranked in the AVCA Top  25 until Sept. 28, and as high as No. 20.


Senior setter Talia Holze and redshirt senior Brooke Enners were inducted into the Delta Chapter of Chi Alpha Sigma Society, the first national scholar-athlete society to honor collegiate student-athletes who have excelled in both the classroom and in athletic competition. They recognized for their achievements during halftime of the Rutgers football game against Ohio State on Saturday, September 30 in an on-field ceremony.

To earn induction into the honor society, a student-athlete must attend a four-year accredited college or university that is an NCAA or NAIA member, achieve junior status, hold a minimum 3.4 GPA, have an endorsement from their head coach and be of good moral character. Both Holze and Enners were also members of the Fall 2016 Academic All-Big Ten Team and Big Ten Distinguished Scholars for earning GPA’s over 3.7. Enners completed the 2016-17 academic year with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average.


Rutgers volleyball debuted its brand new Taraflex playing surface at the College Ave. Gym upon the opening of 2017 Big Ten play against Iowa on Friday evening.

With the floor’s installation, the Scarlet Knights become one of just 26 NCAA Division I programs to utilize Gerflor USA’s Taraflex floor, the exact surface used at the last 11 Summer Olympic Games. The portable Taraflex floor at Rutgers, featuring RU’s signature colors, fonts and logos, is the only one of its kind among collegiate programs in the Northeast region and one of just nine to be used by a Power 5 institution across the nation.


With Big Ten play in full swing, a gauntlet of nationally ranked talent awaits. The preseason American Volleyball Coaches Association Top 25 rankings included eight programs from the Big Ten, including four in the Top 10.

Currently ranked programs include No. 3 Penn State, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 6 Minnesota, No. 7 Wisconsin, No. 14 Michigan State, No. 18 Purdue and No. 22 Michigan. Rutgers hosts Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Purdue and Penn State – all of which were ranked in the Preseason Top 25 – this season in the College Ave. Gym.

Follow Rutgers Volleyball on Twitter and Instagram (@RUvball) for all of the latest news and updates. The team is also on Facebook ( For all Rutgers Athletics news follow us on Twitter(@RUAthletics), Instagram (@RUAthletics), Snapchat (@RUAthletics) and Facebook (

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