Weekend Trip to NYC Awaits Women's Volleyball as the Bobcats Take On Iona, Manhattan in MAAC Action

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (2-11, 0-1 MAAC) @
Iona Gaels (2-10, 0-2 MAAC)
Saturday, September 28, 2013 – 6:00 PM
Hynes Center – New Rochelle, N.Y.

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (2-11, 0-1 MAAC) @
Manhattan Jaspers (8-7, 2-1 MAAC)
Sunday, September 29, 2013 – 1:00 PM
Draddy Gymnasium – Riverdale, N.Y.

Hitting the Road
After back-to-back four set losses, the Quinnipiac women's volleyball team will be looking to turn those into victories this weekend as they enter consecutive conference road games. The weekend starts with a MAAC matchup against the Iona Gaels from Hynes Center on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 pm as Quinnipiac will be looking for their first ever victory over the Gaels. Less than 24 hours later the Bobcats will need to recover quickly as they follow with the Manhattan Jaspers on Sunday at 1 pm. This marks the first time both sides have met since 2001 in a matchup featuring the MAAC's stingiest defensive back line (Manhattan) against one of the conference's most-dangerous teams from the service line (Quinnipiac).

All-Time Record Against Iona
The Bobcats have met the Gaels on six previous occasions and have only won two sets against Iona. The Gaels have taken down the Bobcats all six times in their previous meetings, four of which were via a three set sweep. The two sides haven't played since 2009 however, as Quinnipiac comes into Saturday looking to start of their newfound rivalry on a high note.

Profiling the Gaels
After playing their first 11 matches on the road this season, Iona made the most of their home debut, beating St. Francis Brooklyn in commanding fashion to move their record to 2-10 on the season. While their 2013 season kicked off on a rough patch, Iona has talent, evidenced by their selection as the No. 5 team in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll. The Gaels battled the top team in the conference, Siena, to a hard-fought five set loss on the road in their conference opener last weekend. The match clearly took the wind out of their sails as they fell to Marist the following day in straight sets to start the conference slate off 0-2. The Bobcats need not worry who to focus their defensive attack on as junior Catrina White comes into play leading the conference in kills per set (3.32). White has posted 126 kills through 38 sets this season and benefits from the great setting ability of sophomore Natalie Ziskin. The Gaels' main distributor has put up 351 assists this season for an average of 9.24 assists per set, second-highest number in the MAAC. Two particular areas in which Iona certainly needs some improvement is their blocking and serving. Ranked ninth-best in the conference in both categories, the Bobcat offense will need to take advantage of the opportunities that come their way.

All-Time Record Against Manhattan
The Bobcats will be making their first trip to Draddy Gymnasium as a member of the MAAC this weekend in what will be the first tilt between both sides since 2001. The Bobcats are 1-1 all-time against the Jaspers but much has changed in 12 years since their last meeting.

Manning up Manhattan
Manhattan has played much improved of late, coming in with three victories in their last four matches. The Jaspers are 8-7 with a 2-1 mark in the MAAC entering the weekend. They are currently sitting third in the conference standings with their one loss coming at the hands of Siena, who owns the top spot in the MAAC. Manhattan played its first three MAAC matches on the road, splitting with Marist and Siena last weekend before notching a 3-0 victory at Saint Peter's on Wednesday. Senior Ellie Wiekamp paces the Jaspers with 2.74 kills per set, while junior Malia McGuinness averages 2.53 kills per set. Sophomore Sydney Volovski tallies 2.37 kills per set and leads Manhattan with a .239 hitting percentage. Sophomore Teodora Peric dishes out 7.40 assists per set, and freshman Allie Yamashiro ranks third in the MAAC with 4.70 digs per set. In addition, junior Anna Kitlar registers 0.79 blocks per set. The back line in particular for Manhattan is their strongest asset as they come into the weekend with the highest digs per set average (16.00) of any team in the conference by a wide margin. The next-closest team is nearly a full dig per set lower than the Jaspers' total.

Kill Masters
The Bobcats were certainly aided by their boisterous crowd on Wednesday against Hartford as they finished with their most kills as a team (43) in a match this season. The 43 kills against the Hawks matched their previous season-best of 43 against St. Francis Brooklyn on Sept. 13, which resulted in a Quinnipiac victory.

She's a Thorn in Their Side
Sophomore outside hitter was the offensive star for the Bobcats on Wednesday as she finished with her second career double double with 11 kills and a career high 15 digs. The kill total was just two off her career high but her defensive effort was particularly special against the Hawks' offensive attack.

30 Rock
The offense was flowing well on Wednesday for the Bobcats due in large part from the play of their freshman setter Emma Ogden. They came up with their most kills on the season (43) and Ogden pitched in 35 assists in the output for her fourth match of the season with at least 30 helpers.

Serving up Aces
One of the strongest areas of the new Bobcat squad has been their imposing play at the service line. Quinnipiac dominated reigning MAAC Champion Fairfield from the service line at 13-2 for the match. The Bobcats enter Saturday's match with 71 aces on the season for a 1.54 per set average. The number is good for third-best in the MAAC while three Bobcat freshmen (Katie Urycki, Emma Ogden, Jamie Paolucci) find themselves ranked in the Top-8 among all MAAC players in aces per set.

Pounding the Rock
Freshman right side Jamie Paolucci put forth her best game of the season on Saturday against the Stags as she went for seven kills and was an absolute menace from the service line with four aces. Paolucci's serve helped put away the third set victory for the Bobcats while her offensive output represented the most kills for her in a match since Sept. 13 (four matches).

Ladies and Gentlemen…We Have a Winner
Freshman setter Emma Ogden became the first Bobcat to earn a weekly Player of the Week award in nearly three years, following Kayla Lawler's honor on Oct. 11, 2010. Ogden is also just the fourth Quinnipiac player to earn Player of the Week since the Bobcats became a Division I program in 1998, joining Lawler, Heather Wollyung and Shannon Dublin.

Going by the Numbers
Ogden was instrumental in the Bobcats' winningest stretch since the 2010 season as they picked up two victories in four games the Crosstown Tournament. Playing in all 14 sets for the Bobcats, she compiled 103 assists, 32 digs, five service aces and three kills. Included in her weekend totals was one double double against Morgan St., her second of the year. Ogden went for 29 assists and 14 digs to go along with two service aces as the Bobcats knocked off the Lady Bears. Earlier in the tournament, she posted 37 assists, seven digs and a career-high three service aces against St. Francis Brooklyn to help lift the Bobcats to their first win of the 2013 season.

It's All About the D
Quinnipiac's defense certainly came to play on Wednesday against Hartford as Allison Leigh lifted the team with four blocks (one solo, three assists) and three Bobcats (Logan Riker 15, Chandler Thornton 15, Brittanie Robinson 10) all chipped in at least 10 digs despite the loss.

Riding the Wave
Senior libero Logan Riker, already the program's all-time leader in digs, crossed the 1,200 career dig milestone on Saturday. Riker came through with 15 digs in the loss to give her double digit dig outings in 10 of the past 11 matches for Quinnipiac.

Total Team Effort
As a team against Morgan St., the Bobcats registered 74 digs against the Lady Bears, the most for Quinnipiac in a match since Oct. 30, 2011 (38 matches). The Bobcats also dominated on the service line as they compiled 14 service aces compared to just three for Morgan St. The 14 aces represented the most for the Bobcats as a team since Sept. 10, 2011 (56 matches).

Look Out the Brit(s) are Coming
Quinnipiac's junior outside hitter Brittanie Robinson was an absolute force for the Bobcats all weekend as she posted 27 kills against just seven errors for a hitting percentage of .227. She also compiled three service aces, 42 digs (including a season-high 17 against Morgan St.) and four blocks throughout the tourney. Robinson's breakout game came against the Lady Bears as she posted a career-high 12 kills (against just one error) and picked it up defensive with 17 digs to finish with her fourth career double double.

This Girl is on Fire
The most imposing force for the Bobcats in the middle this season has undoubtedly been freshman Allison Leigh. She leads the team with 86 kills to go along with a .148 hitting percentage but Leigh's most valuable role on this team has been her defensive ability. After just 13 matches, she currently leads the MAAC with 52 total blocks (21 solo, 31 assists) and 1.13 blocks per set average.

It's a Block Party!
For as much as Leigh does on the offensive end, it's her defense that has been the most impressive area of her game thus far in the season. She currently leads all MAAC players with a 1.11 blocks per set average and is one of only three players in the conference to post an average of at least 1.00 per set.

MAAC Blocks Per Set Leaders (minimum 1.00 blocks per set)

Rank Player School Year Blocks Per Set
1 Allison Leigh QU FR 1.13
2 Roxanne Hernandez CAN SR 1.06
3 Kaitlyn Griffin RID FR 1.03

 

Master of Her Domain
After being granted a red-shirt season in 2011, senior libero Logan Riker is back for one more year with the Bobcats. Already the program's all-time leader in digs through her first three seasons, Riker has already posted a team-leading 154 digs to start the season.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career digs leaders

Rank Player                                  Digs
1 Logan Riker, '13 1232
2 Kelby Carey, '11 1017
3 Kayla Lawler, '11 819
4 Erin Overdevest, '09 814
5 Crista Valentino, '08 754

 

Trend Setter
Freshman setter Emma Ogden was expected to see plenty of playing time in her first season but the immediate impact has been a pleasant surprise. Her all-around ability cannot be overstated as she has compiled 324 assists, 92 digs, 12 blocks, 13 kills and 15 service aces through the first 13 matches. Ogden has played in all 46 sets thus far for the Bobcats and finished Wednesday's match with 35 assists, six digs and two kills.

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