Home match with Transylvania highlights weekly slate for volleyball

Kelsey Ketcham and Claire Dennis

HANOVER, Ind. – The Hanover volleyball team will compete twice this week, highlighted by a home contest with Transylvania.

SCHEDULE: Fresh off a weekend split to open Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference play, the Panthers (8-8, 1-1 HCAC) will host the Pioneers at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 3. Wednesday's match will be the first for the Blue and Red inside Collier Arena since their home invitational on Sept. 8. After hosting Transy, Hanover will travel to face Saint Mary-of-the-Woods (Ind.) at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 4.

DENNIS THE MENACE: Senior Claire Dennis (Bloomington, Ind.) is causing chaos at the net for opposing attackers, as she leads the conference and ranks in the top 50 in NCAA Division III for blocks per set, 0.97. With 57 total blocks this season, Dennis has 363 for her career. The senior is coming off 10 total blocks over six sets this past weekend, while also adding 19 digs and 10 kills.

Behind the efforts of Dennis, the Panthers are ranked 28th nationally in blocks per set. Hanover's conference leading mark is at 2.00. The Blue and Red are coming off a 2017 campaign that saw the team rank in the top three nationally for blocks per set.

CHANEY TALLIES CAREER-HIGH KILL TOTAL: During HC's 3-0 win at Defiance last Sunday, sophomore Blaise Chany (Mason, Ohio) tied a career high with 11 kills. Chaney did most of her damage in the opening set, logging seven kills, including the game-winner. For the season, the sophomore has four appearances with double-digit kills, leading to a 1.97 mark per set.

WILLIAMS DIGGING IT: The back row has been spearheaded by junior Ally Williams (Fountaintown, Ind.), who ranks third in the conference and 42nd nationally in digs per set, 5.28. The junior has six matches this season with 20 or more digs and is coming off a two-match weekend that featured 32 total digs over six sets.

KETCHAM PACING OFFENSE: Freshman Kelsey Ketcham (Mishawaka, Ind.) is currently leading the Panther offense in kills per set, 2.38. Ketcham has been able to pitch in all over the court, as her four triple-doubles rank fourth nationally and first in the HCAC. The freshman also has nine double-doubles, including an 11-kill, 13-dig performance at Bluffton last Saturday.

SCOUTING THE PIONEERS: Transylvania will enter Wednesday's contest with a 6-9 overall mark and is 0-1 in the HCAC after falling to Rose-Hulman in three sets. Despite the losing record, the Pioneers have played well this season and have been challenged, with five losses coming to nationally ranked opponents. Hanover has won four straight meetings against Transy, including a 3-2 decision on the road last fall. The previous three years saw HC win in four sets.

SCOUTING THE POMEROYS: Saint Mary-of-the-Woods is off to an 8-12 start this season and are coming off their third consecutive United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) national-runner up finish in 2017. Since SMWC became a scholarship-based program in 2014, the Pomeroys and Panthers have met three times, all of which have gone HC's way by a final count of 3-0. This season's meeting however, will mark the first road game for the Blue and Red in the all-time series.

Contact: Tyler Jester