Women's Volleyball Wraps Up Homestand With Niagara and Canisius This Weekend; Free Live YouTube Game Feed Available

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (4-14, 2-4 MAAC) vs.
Niagara Purple Eagles (1-17, 0-7 MAAC) / Canisius Golden Griffins (6-12, 4-3 MAAC)
Saturday-Sunday, October 12-13, 2013 – 1:00 PM
Burt Kahn Court – Hamden, Conn.

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Quinnipiac Game Notes

Coming in Hot
The Quinnipiac women's volleyball team comes into this weekend's games on a recent uptick as they've won the last two out of three games, including an upset win over Rider last Saturday, as they welcome Niagara and Canisius to Burt Kahn Court. The Bobcats have progressed leaps and bounds from the start of the season, evidenced by the play of their freshmen core. Starting five freshmen consistently of late, this team has molded itself into a legitimate offensive threat. Combined with the blocking ability of Allison Leigh in the middle, this team is primed for a second half run through conference play.

All-Time Record Against Niagara
The Bobcats' history with the Purple Eagles is brief as they've met just twice in program history. Niagara has come out on top in each of the previous two meetings but the last one came on Sept. 2, 2006 in a 3-0 sweep at home for the Purple Eagles.

Pesky Purple Eagles
Niagara hasn't had the season they envisioned to this point in the year. The Purple Eagles were picked to finish seventh in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll but have struggled mightily this year with a 1-17 record and 0-7 start to conference play. Of their 17 losses, the Purple Eagles have been swept 14 times and their lone win of the season came on Sept. 23 over Delaware State, 3-1. Taking a closer look at their schedule, however, one must realize that Niagara has played the top seven teams in the MAAC standings once this season. They put up a fight against the top team in the conference, Manhattan, when they took them to five sets. Within that match, Niagara held serve with the Jaspers deep into the fourth set as the teams continued play as late as 37-35 before the Purple Eagles finally won the set point they had been looking for. Niagara ranks near the bottom of every statistical category in the MAAC this season except for their blocking numbers. They come in averaging 1.80 blocks per set which ranks fifth-best in the conference. Amanda Sedore will certainly see the ball a ton for Niagara as she comes into Saturday with 158 kills this season and a 2.59 per set average, 10th best in the MAAC. Melissa McGwin anchors the middle of the court for the Purple Eagles as she ranks second on the team with 113 kills but her blocking ability makes her a dynamic player. McGwin is averaging 1.13 blocks per set this season, third-highest total in the entire conference. She has totaled 21 solo and 48 assist blocks this season and certainly will cause some problems for the Quinnipiac hitters looking for openings in the defense.

All-Time Record Against Canisius
Quinnipiac has struggled against the Golden Griffins in their three all-time meeting as Canisius has claimed the victory in each match. Canisius has dominated the Bobcats all-time in terms of set victories as they've won 9 compared to Quinnipiac's 1. They last played, however, back on Sept. 2, 2006 when the Golden Griffins left victorious, 3-0, from their home court in Buffalo, N.Y.

Scouting the Golden Griffins
Picked to finish third in the MAAC Preseason Coaches' Poll, Canisius comes into the weekend with a 6-12 record and 4-3 mark in conference play. They did not get off to the start they envisioned as Canisius dropped their first eight matches of the season, four of which ended in sweeps. Their play certainly picked up towards the middle of September as they won four of their next five matches with victories over Bucknell and a 2-0 start to the MAAC slate with wins over Saint Peter's and Rider. The Golden Griffins just recently wrapped up their five-game home stand in which they went 2-3 from Koessler Athletic Center. They've played one of the toughest schedules in the MAAC thus far with all three losses (Marist, Siena, Manhattan) coming against the top three teams in the conference standings. They now hit the road for three straight road matches starting with Fairfield on Saturday and the Bobcats on Sunday. Canisius ranks in the middle of the pack among MAAC teams across the board in terms of statistics other than their blocking. The Golden Griffins are easily the most-potent blocking team in the conference as they come in averaging 2.30 blocks per set. They've blocked 159 shots as a team this season and outnumber everyone in the conference in terms of total block assists (264) by almost 100. The Canisius defensive back line helps create opportunities for the offense as the come in ranking second in the conference in digs per set (14.88). Overall, the Bobcat defense needs to keep tabs on Lauren Siebert who comes in with an impressive .242 hitting percentage this season and 109 kills. Their most-dynamic player, however, is none other than senior middle blocker Roxanne Hernandez. She leads the Golden Griffin's middle line with 1.21 blocks per set this season and an even more impressive mark of 1.63 in MAAC competition. Emily Litwin, on average, is the most-impressive libero in the conference as she leads the way with 4.79 digs per set.

Last Time Out
The Bobcat offense ran at a steady pace despite the 3-1 loss to Siena as reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week, freshman setter Emma Ogden, posted 32 assists to go along with three kills, three service aces and two blocks. She spread the ball out to freshman outside hitter Katie Urycki who compiled a team-high 10 kills while both freshmen Allison Leigh and Jamie Paolucci each totaled eight kills in defeat. Despite the loss, the Bobcat hit the ball at a .182 clip against the second-highest ranked defensive unit in the MAAC.

Killing Machine
The Bobcats' freshman outside hitter Katie Urycki smashed a career and game high 17 kills against Saint Peter's, the most for any Bobcat in a match this season. Urycki's monster performance represented the most kills for any Bobcat in a single match all season and the most for a Bobcat in a match since Nov. 10, 2010 (102 matches) when Taylor Payne went for 19 kills against Bryant. She backed up her offensive output with 11 digs, three service aces and two blocks for her second career double double.

Rookie Recognized
Quinnipiac's former MAAC Player of the Week, freshman setter Emma Ogden, was named MAAC Rookie of the Week on Tuesday. She completely in control over the weekend as she compiled a total of 83 assists (10.38 per set average), 19 digs (2.38 per set), nine blocks (1.12 per set) and two service aces in two Bobcat victories this past weekend. Ogden stepped in from the first match of the season and has continued to improve throughout the year. Her continued improvement has translated to the court as she has recorded at least 32 assists in six of her last seven matches.

Riding the Wave
Senior libero Logan Riker, already the program's all-time leader in digs, picked up a season-high 21 digs on Sunday against Saint Peter's for her second match with at least 20 assists in her last three matches. Riker compiled 20 digs just once all last season.

Let's Go Streaking
Quinnipiac's weekend sweep at home marked a couple firsts for the Bobcats. The victory over Rider on Saturday marked their first ever win in the MAAC while the win over the Peacocks gave the Bobcats their first winning streak of at least two games since Oct. 9-10, 2010.

Bringing the House Down
Allison Leigh posted a single-game Quinnipiac Division I record (since 1998) with 13 blocks (3 solo, 10 assists) on Saturday against the Broncs. Her single-game block total was the most for any Quinnipiac player in the Division I era as her conference-leading total moves up to 83 on the season. She also helped nullify a potential MAAC Freshman of the Year candidate in Kaitlyn Griffin to just five kills, four errors and a .067 hitting percentage (came into Saturday hitting at .324 percent this season).

Sammy Says
Leigh and the Bobcats also got a massive lift from the play of other middle hitter, freshman Sam Alechko who finished with a career day across the board against Rider. Alechko went for eight kills against just one error for a team-high hitting percentage of .583. She also was a menace from the service line with three aces and added five blocks (2 solo, 3 assists), all of which represented career highs for the ever-improving middle hitter.

Getting Defensive
The Quinnipiac defense shut down the lethal Rider attack with 18 total blocks as a team including 13 (3 solo, 10 assists) for freshman Allison Leigh. Leigh's record-breaking day at the net included 12 kills for her first career double double.

Career High Combo
A couple more Bobcats posted career highs on Saturday in their team's victory over Rider as freshmen Emma Ogden (47 assists and 7 blocks) and Jamie Paolucci (13 kills) each went for individual career highs this past weekend.

Hitting on all Cylinders
This Quinnipiac offensive unit is rounding into shape as they went for 53 and 50 kills in their weekend matches. After not recording 50 kills in a match since 2011, this marks the first time the Bobcats have gone three straight matches with at least 50 kills since the 2005 season.

Setting the Stage                                                                                                                     
Much credit should go to the play of the Bobcats' freshman setter Emma Ogden, who posted the best game of her young career with a season and game-high 47 assists to go along with seven blocks, five digs, and one service ace against Rider. It marked the second match in which Ogden went over 40 assists and became the first Bobcat since Kayla Lawler on Oct. 30, 2011 (44 matches) to accomplish the feat.

Assisted Living
A huge key for the Bobcats this season has been the marked improved play from Ogden as she currently sports a total of 507 assists through 18 matches. She can also stake her claim in the records books as her 18 match total represents more assists for a single player through their first 18 career matches for any Bobcat in program history.

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 Wednesday's match with 103 aces on the season for a 1.56 per set average. The number is good for third-best in MAAC competition while Tanner Celestin and Katie Urycki find themselves ranked in the Top-10 in per set average this season through five conference contests.

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 Sunday against Saint Peter's as Allison Leigh lifted the team with six blocks (two solo, four assists) and four Bobcats (Logan Riker 21, Emma Ogden 14, Brittanie Robinson 11, Katie Urycki 11) all chipped in at least 11 digs in the victory.

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 134 kills to go along with a .200 hitting percentage but Leigh's most valuable role on this team has been her defensive ability. After just 18 matches, she currently ranks first in the MAAC with 83 total blocks (31 solo, 52 assists) and 1.26 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 ranks second among all MAAC players with a 1.26 blocks per set average and is one of only five 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 1.26
2 Roxanne Hernandez CAN SR 1.21
3 Melissa McGwin NIA SO 1.13
4 Kaitlyn Griffin RID FR 1.11
5 Jacqueline Skeen SIENA JR 1.07

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 230 digs to start the season.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career digs leaders

Rank Player                         Digs
1 Logan Riker, '13 1308
2 Kelby Carey, '11 1017
3 Heather Grutta, '02 918
4 Kayla Lawler, '11 819
5 Erin Overdevest, '09 814

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 507 assists, 124 digs, 25 blocks, 22 kills and 21 service aces through the first 18 matches. Ogden has played in all 66 sets thus far for the Bobcats.

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