October 18, 2012

Women's Volleyball Hosts NEC Competition Fairleigh Dickinson Saturday at 1 pm and LIU Brooklyn Sunday at 1 pm

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (1-16, 0-8 NEC)
vs. Fairleigh Dickinson (7-14, 3-5 NEC)
Saturday, October 20, 2012 – 1 PM
Burt Kahn Court – Hamden, Conn.

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (1-16, 0-8 NEC)
vs. LIU Brooklyn (15-7, 8-0 NEC)
Sunday, October 21, 2012 – 1 PM
Burt Kahn Court – Hamden, Conn.

Looking For First Win

The Quinnipiac women's volleyball team will host a pair of Northeast Conference foes in Fairleigh Dickinson and LIU Brooklyn over the weekend as the Bobcats are still in search of their first conference victory. They host the Knights on Saturday and the Black Birds on Sunday in Burt Kahn Court with matches set to begin at 1 p.m.

Last One

For the second consecutive match the Bobcats battled to win a set but couldn't pull off the victory, falling to Bryant, 3-1. Several Bobcats had outstanding individual games highlighted by freshman Chandler Thornton recording a career-high and season-high for any Bobcat player with 14 kills. Sophomore Brittanie Robinson had another outstanding and the fourth double-double for Quinnipiac on the year with 29 assists and 10 digs to go along with three blocks. Junior Logan Riker also continued her hot streak with her fourth consecutive double-digit dig outing with 18 against the Bulldogs.

All-Time Against the Field

The Bobcats are 4-17 all-time against Fairleigh Dickinson with their last win coming on Oct. 24, 2010 with a 3-2 victory in Hamden. They have lost 10 of their last 11 meetings against the Knights and will look to avenge their 3-0 defeat earlier in the season in Teaneck, N.J. Quinnipiac has had a much similar plight against the Black Birds as they own a 6-14 record but have lost 14 of the last 15 meetings and haven't won in Hamden since Oct. 28, 2000. The Bobcats lost earlier in the year to LIU Brooklyn on the road, 3-0.

Scouting the Knights

The Knights currently own a 7-14 records with a 3-5 mark in NEC play. They have been scuffling of late as they started the year with a 3-1 record in the NEC and are now riding a four-game losing streak. Much of Fairleigh Dickinson's statistics rank in the middle of the NEC in conference games but one area where they certainly excel is in feeding the ball to senior outside hitter Meaghan Wheeler. After eight conference matches, Wheeler has compiled 144 kills (next closest NEC player has 105) and leads the conference with 4.97 kills-per-game average. There is no mistaking the offense will funnel through Wheeler as she has totaled 377 kills for the season on 1128 total attacks. She also leads the team in service aces (26), is second in digs (275) and third in blocks (33). The Knights will certainly feature Wheeler as she has accounted for 42.2% of the team's total kills but they will also utilize Jordon Collis and Maddie Gibbons, both have accumulated over 100 kills for the season. Violeta Slabakova is the most dominating server in the conference as she has averaged 0.72 aces per game through eight NEC matches. Allison Butler is the primary facilitator with 703 assists for the season and she ranks 5th among NEC players with 9.45 assists per-game.

Scouting the Black Birds

The LIU Brooklyn Black Birds have absolutely dominated conference play thus far as they own a perfect 8-0 mark against NEC foes and have dropped only two sets in their eight conference showdowns. After beating Sacred Heart, 3-2, on Sept. 22, they have reeled off 21 consecutive set victories including a pair of sweeps over 2nd-place Central Connecticut State and Robert Morris. They hold the top spot in nearly every statistical category as they lead the conference in hitting percentage (.313), opponent hitting percentage (.126), assists (13.31 per-game), kills (14.31 per-game), service aces (1.92 per-game), and are third in blocks (2.19 per-game) through eight NEC games. Four Black Bird players rank in the top-10 for hitting percentage as senior Jessica Rice leads the way with a .357 mark good for 4th in the NEC. The LIU Brooklyn offense will heavily feature sophomore and three-time NEC Player of the Week Annika Foit who averages 3.92 kills per-game, 2nd in the NEC. Tamara Ignjic will also see her fair share as she ranks 5th in the NEC with 3.00 kills per-game. Vera Djuric facilitates the LIU Brooklyn offense as she has totaled 844 assists this season including an 11.23 per-game average, tops in the NEC. Freshman libero Adriana Vinas Joy already is a force in her young career, compiling 317 digs throughout the season. The Black Bird defense is every bit as good as the offense as they feature five players with at least 40 total blocks and five more with at least 114 digs.

Digging Her Way to the Top

With 19 digs against St. Francis (NY ) on Saturday, Oct. 13, junior libero Logan Riker eclipsed Kelby Carey's previous program-record of 1,017. Riker followed up her record-breaker with 18 against Bryant on Wednesday. With 60 digs in four games, Riker has been a stalwart all season with 10 double-digit dig performances on the season and 177 to lead the team.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career dig leaders

  1. Logan Riker '13                  1,053
  2. Kelby Carey '11                     1,017
  3. Kayla Lawler '11                   819
  4. Erin Overdevest, '09             814
  5. Crista Valentino, '08             754

T-Payne in Position

After becoming the fifth player in program history to record 500 career kills during this season, senior right side Taylor Payne also eclipsed 200 career blocks and currently stands at 203. She is just 22 away from becoming the all-time blocks leader at Quinnipiac with nine games left.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career blocks leader

  1. Stephanie Logan, '07             224
  2. Stephanie Conde, '06            215
  3. Taylor Payne, '12                203
  4. Kalyn Hundley, '05                164
  5. Jenna Benigno, '08                151

Freshman Sensation

Outside hitter Chandler Thornton has impressed during her rookie campaign as she was named to the Bucknell Invitational All-Tournament Team earlier in the year and currently ranks second on the team in kills (81), fourth in hitting percentage (.092), and second in digs (88). She posted a career and season-high for any Bobcat player with 14 kills in Wednesday's showdown with Bryant. It marked the fifth time she has led the team in kills in a match this season.

Celestin Surging Up Leaderboard

The sophomore outside hitter Tanner Celestin continues to lead the Bobcat's offensive attack as she compiled another eight kills on Wednesday to give her 108 for the year. Celestin has seen a marked improvement after totaling only eight kills through the first four games (2.00 per-game average), she has compiled 100 over the past 13 (7.69 per-game average).

Triple Threat

Sophomore setter Brittanie Robinson has returned to her dominate self, compiling a game-high 29 assists to go along with 10 digs and three total blocks on Wednesday. The double-double was the second of the season for Robinson and the fourth for Quinnipiac players. Robinson came into Wednesday's match coming off 31 assists, four blocks, and five digs against St. Francis (NY) on Oct. 13. Over her past five games, the sophomore is averaging 25 assists, 6.2 digs, 2.6 total blocks, 1.2 kills and 0.6 service aces per match as she has consistently carried the Bobcats throughout the season.

On Deck

The Bobcats will head down to Pennsylvania for a weekend set against St. Francis (Pa.) and Robert Morris on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m., respectively. Fans can find scores, stats and game recaps at the official Athletics Website of Quinnipiac University at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Contact: Maxx McNall; maxx.mcnall@quinnipiac.edu