Rutgers Volleyball – Big Ten Play with No. 18 Penn State, Illinois

  0 Caley Oquist | September 20th, 2016 | Big Ten, College - Women's Indoor, News

Entering Big Ten play, the Rutgers women’s volleyball team welcomes No. 18 Penn State on Wednesday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. ET before traveling to Illinois on Saturday, Sept. 24 at 8 p.m. ET.

Both matches will be streamed live on BTN Plus. To learn more about BTN Plus and subscription packages, click here.


Game 1: Wednesday, Sept. 21     vs. Penn State              7 p.m.                        Live Stats BTN Plus ($)

Game 2: Saturday, Sept. 24          at Illinois                       8 p.m.                        Live Stats | BTN Plus ($)

After starting the season 4-1, Rutgers (4-9, 0-0) has fallen in its last eight contests. The Scarlet Knights dropped matches to Princeton, Seattle and Seton Hall last weekend at the Rutgers Invitational. RU ended the invite with a thrilling five-set match against SHU.

Senior right side Lauren Cloyd was named to the all-tournament team after posting 2.27 kills per set and 1.00 blocks per set across the three contests. Junior outside hitter Meme Fletcher posted a team-best in kills (27) and service aces (6), including her fourth double-double (16 kills, 10 digs) of the year against the Pirates.

In the Big Ten standings, fifth-year senior Mikaela Matthews and freshman Jasmine Stackhouse rank ninth and tenth in blocks per set, respectively. Matthews is averaging 1.28 blocks per frame followed by Stackhouse with 1.27. Freshman libero Karysa Swackenberg ranks 13th digs per set with 3.22, as well as 15th in service aces per set with a total of 15 on the season.

No. 18 Penn State (8-3, 0-0 Big Ten) is riding a six-match win streak into Big Ten play. The Nittany Lions ended nonconference action with a home invitational, earning wins over Rhode Island, Howard and Clemson. PSU’s three losses came at the hands of No. 19 North Carolina, Colorado and No. 9 Stanford.

As a team, PSU ranks first in the league and second in the nation in opponent hitting percentage (.091) while ranking sixth in the conference with a .290 hitting percentage of its own. Haleigh Washington owns a team-best .410 hitting clip to sit 19th in the country. Simone Lee leads the squad with 4.13 kills per set, ranking fourth in the league.

The teams last met on Nov. 6, 2015, when the then-No. 1 ranked Nittany Lions earned the win in three sets. PSU owns a 27-9 lead in the all-time series.

Illinois (7-4, 0-0 Big Ten) enters the week after capturing the Billiken Invitational tournament title. The Fighting Illini defeated Omaha, Murray State and host Saint Louis and extended their streak to five straight sweeps. UI is receiving votes in the AVCA Coaches poll.

The Fighting Illini rank fourth in the Big Ten with 3.00 blocks per set. Ali Bastianelli leads the defense with 1.80 blocks per set to sit at second in the league and fourth in the nation. Katie Stadick is 10th in the conference with a .374 hitting percentage, while Jordyn Poutler sits at ninth with 10.15 assists per set.

UI owns a 5-1 lead in the all-time series, most recently adding wins in the last two meetings in 2015. The Fighting Illini will travel to Purdue for a Wednesday matchup before hosting Rutgers.

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 (

Courtesy of Rutgers Athletics. 

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