Pitt State volleyball returns home for pair of MIAA matches
The Gorillas will face ESU and Washburn
PITTSBURG, Kan. — RELEASE FROM PITTSBURG STATE ATHLETICS:
After an eight-day mid-season regrouping break, the Pittsburg State University Volleyball team will return to the court for two Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association (MIAA) matches at John Lance Arena. The Gorillas will play the Emporia State Hornets on Friday starting at 6 p.m. before hosting the No. 5 Washburn Ichabods on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Scouting the Gorillas
The Gorillas are coming off a 1-1 Tuesday-Thursday split last week.
The Gorillas overcame an early 2-0 lead by Newman in Wichita on Tuesday to win 3-2 before falling in three sets to Missouri Western on Thursday in St. Joesph.
Head Coach Jen Gomez, who is in her third season at the helm, enters the match with a 39-69 record.
The Gorillas are hitting .183 on the season while holding opponents to a .167 attacking percentage.
Senior outside hitter Erika Ivkov (Ward, Colo.) leads Pitt State with 18 service aces, 182 digs and 161 kills, all are team-highs.
Saturday’s match will be the fourth team that the Gorillas will play this season that is ranked in the Top-25 where they are 0-3 and have only mustered up one set win (1-9).
Scouting the Hornets
Emporia State enters the weekend with a 5-10 overall record and a 1-6 MIAA record. The Gorillas had a nine-game losing streak before defeating Newman last Saturday in four sets.
The Hornets are coached by Bing Xu, who is in his 15th season on the bench. He has a 286-179 overall record and a 146-108 MIAA record while at ESU.
The Hornets are led by junior hitter Yuchen Du (Beijing, China), who has 168 kills on the season.
Scouting the Ichabods
The Ichabods enter with a 13- 1 overall record and a 5-1 MIAA record and will be a tough team to tackle as they enter the week as the No. 5 team in the Oct. 7th American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) poll. This is the third week in a row that they have been ranked No. 5 and the 16th straight week (dating back to Sept. 17, 2018) to be ranked in the Top-25.
The Ichabods are coached by Chris Herron, who is in his 18th season and holds an overall record of 517-104 and is 241-60 in MIAA matches. He is 29-5 against Pitt State.
Washburn is currently tied for second along with No. 10 Northwest Missouri (12-2, 5-1 MIAA) behind No. 3 Nebraska-Kearney (16-0, 7-0 MIAA).
The Ichabods are led by junior outside hitter Genna Berg (Blue Springs, Mo.) who was named the MIAA Co-Hitter of the week for the second consecutive week. She has five double-double performances on the season.
The No. 5 team in the nation is 7-0 when playing on the road this season and they are ranked in the top-five in every team statistical category in the MIAA.
History with these opponents
The Gorillas and Hornets split last season and 6-12 in the series since 2010.
Against the Ichabods, the Gorillas are 21-66 overall and have dropped the last 20 meetings. Of those 21 wins by Pitt State, nine have been at home while they have lost 23 in John Lance Arena.
After this weekend the Gorillas return to the road for a Tuesday match up in Joplin when they take on Missouri Southern at 6 p.m.
They will than return home next Friday and Saturday for 6 p.m. tilts with Nebraska-Kearney (Friday) and Fort Hays State (Saturday).
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