Pioneers to Play Mustangs on Friday in NCAA Tournament
Denver and Cal Poly meet in the first round at Pauley Pavilion
Nov. 29, 2017
SCOUTING THE MUSTANGS
The Mustangs are 19-2 in three-set matches, 4-0 in four sets and 3-0 in five sets. They are 7-0 in neutral site matches.
Cal Poly has won its last 21 matches, which is the longest in program history and the second longest in Division I.
The Mustangs have a RPI ranking of 16.
Leading the team are Torrey Van Winden (441 kills, 4.69 k/s), Taylor Nelson (1119 assists, 11.90 a/s), Savannah Niemen (58 total blocks, three solo and 55 assisted), Katherine Brouker (371 digs, 3.95 d/s) and Adlee Van Winden (28 service aces).
As a team, the Mustangs have 1422 kills, 1324 assists, 136 service aces, 1402 digs, 181 total blocks (40 solo, 282 assisted), and is hitting .314 while holding opponents to .185.
Nationally, they rank 2nd in kills per set, 4th in assists per set, 6th in hitting percentage, 56th in aces per set, 86th in opponent's hitting percentage, tied for 154th in service aces, tied for 164th in kills, 167th in assists, 168th in digs per set, 202nd in blocks per set, 273rd in blocks and 282nd in digs.
This is the fourth consecutive year that DU earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Denver has won its last 11 matches. Six of DU's wins have come in straight-sets.
The Pioneers are 12-3 in three set matches, 9-2 in four sets and 2-0 in five sets this season.
DU is 54th in the RPI rankings, the highest end-of-season RPI in program history.
Denver has used three different starting lineups this season. Emma Willis, Cassie Baird, Tina Boe and Cassidy Rooke have started all 28 matches. Teal Schnurr has started 25 matches, Kayla Principato and Piyusha Boteju have both started 17 matches, Becca Latham started 14, and Ellie Anderson has started the last 11 matches.
Anderson, Baird, Boe, Latham, Rooke, Schnurr and Willis started the last 11 matches.
Latham started the first three matches of the season and the last 11 matches, with the Pioneers going 14-0 in those matches and outscoring the opponents 42 sets to eight.
DU is 17-1 when Latham records double-digit kills, 11-0 when Boteju records a double-double and 6-0 when Anderson records a double-double.
The Pioneers have two players from "The Golden State" on their roster.
Junior middle blocker Emma Willis hails from La Jolla, Calif. (La Jolla HS) and senior libero/defensive specialist Cassidy Rooke is from Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (La Jolla Country Day HS).
The Pioneers are coming off a four set victory over Oral Roberts in the Summit League final (25-14, 23-25, 25-19, 25-16).
DU has a balanced attack with six players with over 100 kills, with Latham and Principato leading the team with 317 and 271, respectively. Baird has the third-most kills with 204, Willis has 181 and Schnurr has 173, and Boe sits at 128.
Denver had four players with 10-plus kills against USC Upstate with Latham (14), Principato (12), Bartalo (10) and Schnurr (10). Against UC Davis, DU had three players with 10 kills by Baird, Principato and Latham. Against Gonzaga, DU had three players with 12 kills by Principato, 11 by Latham and 10 by Baird. In the first league match against Fort Wayne, Principato and Willis had 14 kills and Latham had 12. In the Oct. 21 match, also against Fort Wayne, Principato had 13 kills, Schnurr had a career-high 12 and Latham and Willis each had 11. On Nov. 5 against Omaha, DU had three players in double-digits, with Latham having 13 kills, Principato 12 and Schnurr 11. In the match at WIU, Denver again had three players with double-digit kills (Latham had 16, Baird had 12 and Principato had 10). In the Summit League Tournament final, Willis had 15 kills, Principato had 12 and Baird had 11.
Latham had a career-high 20 kills in the semifinal win against North Dakota State and Willis had a career-high 15 kills in the finals win against Oral Roberts.
The Pioneers have 1382 kills with a league-high hitting percentage of .253.
WE'LL HAVE THE DOUBLE-DOUBLE PLEASE
Piyusha Boteju has had 11 double-doubles this season. Boteju had 29 assists and 10 digs against USC Upstate, and then had 28 assists and 11 digs later in the day against the College of Charleston. Boteju added another double-double against Niagara with 19 assists and 20 digs (a career-high). Against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Boteju had 20 assists, 11 digs, and against Eastern Illinois she had 18 assists and 12 digs. In the match against Omaha the senior had 11 assists and 13 digs. Against South Dakota, Boteju had 10 assists and 11 digs, and against Fort Wayne, she had 23 assists and 10 digs. In the last two regular season matches she had 26 assists and 11 digs against WIU and 23 assists and 23 digs versus USD. In the last match, against ORU, she had 21 assists and 11 digs.
The Pioneers are 11-0 when Boteju records a double-double.
Cassie Baird had 10 kills and 10 digs against Charleston, 10 kills and 11 digs versus UC Davis, as well as a double-double against Gonzaga with 10 kills and 10 digs. In the match at ORU, she led the team with 10 kills and 11 digs. She has seven in her career.
Lydia Bartalo had 10 kills and 12 digs in her second match as a Pioneer against USC Upstate.
Ellie Anderson (22 assists, 10 digs) recorded her first double-double as a Pioneer against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. At Fort Wayne, she had a career-high 28 assists and 10 digs, and against NDSU, she had 23 assists and 13 digs. In the last two regular season matches, she had 27 assists and 10 digs against WIU and 21 assists and 17 digs against USD. In the Summit League seminfinals against NDSU, she had 26 assists and 15 digs for her third-straight double-double.
DU is 6-0 when Anderson records a double-double.
BLOCK IT UP
Through the regular season matches, Emma Willis leads the Summit League in total blocks (114), assisted blocks (105), and blocks per set (1.15). In league matches, she was second in assisted blocks (49), fourth in total blocks (53), and fifth in blocks per set (1.04).
Tina Boe is seventh in total blocks in the Summit League, with 94 total blocks (six solo, 88 assisted), sixth in blocks per set (.97) and fifth in assisted blocks.
DU has 230.0 total blocks (2.32 blocks/ set), off of 32 solo blocks and 396 assisted.
Willis had a season-high 10 assisted blocks in the win against Eastern Illinois, and Boe had 10 total blocks against San Diego State (two solo, eight assisted). They are the only two players to reach double figures in a match this season.
In their first season as DU Pioneers, the freshmen have made an immediate impact.
Anderson is second on the team in assists (487) and service aces (24), and fourth in digs (183). Macy Carrabine is fifth on the team in digs with 143 and assists (28), Boe is second on the team in total blocks at 88 (six solo, 82 assisted) and in hitting percentage (.308).
LEAD THE WAY
Along with Latham (kills) and Willis (total blocks), Boteju leads the team in assists (521), Cassidy Rooke leads the team in digs (364), and Latham in points scored (343.5). Cassie Baird leads the Pioneers with 32 service aces.
Denver is coming off of its fourth-straight Summit League regular season and tournament championships.
DU has made the NCAA Tournament the last four years after winning the Summit League Tournament.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
The Pioneers won over 20 matches each of the last four seasons, and 13 league matches the previous three seasons.
The Pioneers have earned the regular season title with a 13-3 Summit League record the past three seasons, and a 12-2 record this year.
In each of the last three years, the Pioneers have gone 8-0 at home and 5-3 on the road in league play.
This season, DU went 7-0 at home and 5-2 on the road in the Summit League.
Denver is 62-15 (.805) overall in the Summit League.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Junior outside hitter Becca Latham was named as "Players to Watch" in the Summit League Preseason Poll.
Coming into the match, Latham has played 98 sets, registering 317 kills (3.23 k/s), hitting .353, and scored 353 points for the Pioneers (3.60 per set).
Nationally, she ranks 56th in attack percentage.
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