Women's Volleyball's Season Comes to a Close This Weekend at Canisius and Niagara

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (5-24, 3-13 MAAC) vs.
Canisius Golden Griffins (10-17, 8-8 MAAC)
Niagara Purple Eagles (3-24, 2-14 MAAC)
Saturday-Sunday, November 16-17, 2013 – 1:00 PM
Koessler Athletic Center – Buffalo, N.Y. (Canisius)
Gallagher Center – Niagara Univ., N.Y. (Niagara)

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Quinnipiac Game Notes

Last Go At It
The Quinnipiac women's volleyball team closes out their 2013 season with a pair of matches on the road against Canisius and Niagara from Northwest New York this weekend. The Bobcats are coming off on of their best matches of the season last Sunday in Senior Day against Manhattan. Five different Bobcats tallied career highs including a tying of the single game program record from Logan Riker with 29 digs. Quinnipiac will be looking for a couple more victories to wrap up the season as they've already doubled last season's win total heading into these weekend road matches. 

All-Time Record Against Canisius
Before their meeting earlier this season, the Bobcats hadn't played Canisius in over seven years. Quinnipiac comes into Saturday's meeting with an 0-4 all-time mark against the Golden Griffins and this will be their first time playing in Buffalo since the 2006 season (Sept. 2, 2006).

Scouting the Golden Griffins
Canisius enters the weekend with an 8-8 record in conference play. The Golden Griffins are mathematically eliminated from qualifying for next weekend's four-team MAAC Championship but can still achieve a double-digit win total in conference play. Canisius would have 10 conference wins for the seventh time in eight years since the MAAC went to a double round-robin schedule in 2006. They are one of three teams in the conference, along with Fairfield and Siena, to have at least seven seasons of 10 or more league wins in the past eight campaigns. Canisius has won four of its last five matches in the Koessler Athletic Center. Sophomore Lauren Siebert leads the Griffs and ranks sixth in the MAAC in attack percentage (.259). Siebert is hitting .381 in the last five matches and has not committed an attack error during that stretch. Senior Roxanne Hernandez is third in the MAAC in blocks per set (1.11). Hernandez has 96 block assists on the season, which ranks fourth in the single-season record books. She needs eight block assists on the weekend to move into third place. Junior Emily Litwin leads the MAAC in digs per set (4.91) and also leads the conference at 5.15 digs per set in league play.

All-Time Record Against Niagara
These two sides have only met three times in their series history, with the Purple Eagles coming out on top in all prior meetings. This will be the first meeting against Niagara on the road since the 2006 season as the Bobcats will be looking to avenge a 3-0 loss to the Purple Eagles at home earlier this season.

Scouting the Purple Eagles
Niagara remains in search of their first home win of the season as they have two chances this weekend. The Purple Eagles fell to Fairfield in four sets, despite winning the first set, in the first meeting this season. Niagara defeated Quinnipiac in straight sets to earn its first conference win of the season on Oct. 12. Melissa McGwin has moved herself into the Top 10 in total blocks and block assists for a season in Niagara's program history. The redshirt sophomore has 111 total blocks and 81 block assists in her first year at Niagara. She ranks eighth all-time in blocks and eighth in block assists for a season and currently has the most total blocks since Karen Simpson in 2005 (121). Amanda Sedore is 42 kills away from 500 in her career as she currently leads the team and is sixth in the conference with 2.92 kills per set.

Last Time Out
The Bobcats returned home for their final home matches of the 2013 season last weekend against Iona and Manhattan. Katie Urycki tallied nine kills in a 3-0 loss to Iona while Brittanie Robinson added her second straight double double with 18 assists and 10 digs. Sunday's match against Manhattan was one of the Bobcats' most complete outings of the season despite a 3-1 loss to the first place Jaspers. Five different Bobcats went for career highs through the four sets while the senior class of Logan Riker and Bonnie Conklin were honored before the start of play for Senior Day festivities.

Digging Her Way to the Record Books
The Bobcats' all-time digs leader Riker continued her amazing senior season, tying the single game program record of 29 digs set by Tracy Wright back on Sept. 10, 2011 (75 matches ago). The senior captain was all over the court and now ups her Quinnipiac program record career dig total to 1445.

Filling in Nicely
Another tremendous accomplishment for the Bobcats was made by their junior setter Robinson. Filling in for the injured freshman Emma Ogden, Robinson has stepped in from her natural outside hitting position into the team's main distributor and completed one of the best days the Bobcats have seen from a setter in quite some time. Robinson filled the stat sheet with 54 assists on Sunday which represents the most assists in a match for a single player since Kayla Lawler had 54 back on Oct. 17, 2010 (92 matches). She added five digs, three blocks and two kills to round out her dynamic performance against Manhattan.

Monster on Offense
Not to be remised were the outings by three Quinnipiac freshmen as they all received a boatload of playing time and certainly made the most of their opportunities. Katie Urycki was a force offensively on Sunday with a career high 19 kills on 47 attempts with just three errors for a hitting percentage of .340. She added another career high with 13 digs to round out her third double double of the season. Urycki's monster kill total was the most for any Bobcat in a four set match since Taylor Payne notched 19 on Nov. 10, 2010 (85 matches) against Navy.

Couldn't be Stopped
Freshman middle hitter Allison Leigh went for a career high 17 kills from the middle on Sunday as she did whatever she wanted against the Jasper middle blockers. It was Leigh's eighth time this season recording double digits in kills as she continues to lead the team with 206 kills this season. She also becomes the first Bobcat to record at least 200 kills in a season since 2010.

Fresh on the Scene
A couple more career highs were set as freshman defensive specialist Cody Michaels tied her career best with 10 digs and set a new career high with two service aces against the Jaspers. Michaels played a huge role in what was an incredible day from the Bobcats' back line as they notched 80 digs as a team, the most for the Bobcats in a four set match since Sept. 10, 2010 (105 matches).

Sophomore Sensation
Not to be forgotten amongst all the seven different career highs set on Sunday was sophomore Chandler Thornton who chipped in another solid game with 10 kills and 12 digs for her third double double of the season and second in three games. Thornton's 12 digs now gives her three straight games with double digits in digs, the longest stretch of any player other than Riker on the team this season.

Logan Riker Career Highlights
Quinnipiac's veteran and key contributor for the past five seasons has been a three-time captain and looked-to leader for this program throughout her career. Logan Riker's career stats will be littered across the Bobcats' record books for quite some time as she ranks fifth in career sets played (381) and fourth in service aces (73) as well as the career all-time digs leader with 1445. Riker is in the midst of a breakout senior campaign as she is on-pace to eclipse 400 digs for the third time in her career.

Career Stats: 110 matches, 381 sets played, 64 kills, 213 assists, 73 aces, 1445 digs, 3 blocks, 135 points

Bonnie Conklin Career Highlights
One of the Bobcats' most steady forces in the middle throughout her career, Bonnie Conklin will be missed not only for her blocking efforts but for her leadership and dedication to the team. With 132 career blocks to her name, Conklin needs just one more to enter the Quinnipiac Top 10 all-time list. She showcased her dynamic ability at the net earlier this season with a career high 10 blocks in a match against Siena and just last season she posted a career high 13 kills in a win over St. Francis Brooklyn.

Career Stats: 63 matches, 168 sets played, 173 kills, 5 assists, 5 aces, 18 digs, 132 blocks, 254.5 points

Comeback Kids
Down two sets and on the brink of another defeat, Quinnipiac dug in and morphed into the superior team on Sunday against Saint Peter's with a 3-2 come-from-behind victory. The dazzling performance by the Bobcats was their first comeback from two sets down in a match since Nov. 15, 2009 (110 matches) but it was their first time coming back from that deficit on the road since before the 2003 season (over 300 matches).

Digging Their Way Out
The story of the match was the Bobcats' defensive unit as the team combined for 56 digs and 12 total blocks to cause all sorts of problems for the Saint Peter's hitters who committed 30 errors compared to just 18 for the Bobcats. Four Bobcats (Brittanie Robinson 14, Chandler Thornton 11, Cody Michaels 10, Tanner Celestin 10) tallied at least 10 digs which marked just the second time this season Quinnipiac has achieved the feat.

Thorn in their Sides
It was a career day for sophomore outside hitter Chandler Thornton as she tied a career high with 13 kills to go along with 11 digs in the Bobcats' 3-2 victory over Saint Peter's. It was good enough for her second double double of the season and fourth for her career, tied for the most among active Bobcats. She also picked up two blocks and two aces to round out her sensational effort.

Keeping it Going
Logan Riker, playing in her final collegiate season, has had one of the best years of her career, after posting 33 digs combined against Iona and Manhattan she now ups her total to 367 on the year. Currently on pace to push past 400 digs for the third time in her career, the Bobcats' all-time leader in digs certainly is closing out her career on a huge positive note.

Leigh-ving the Others Behind
Freshman sensation Allison Leigh had another impressive outing on Sunday against Manhattan as she went for a career high 17 kills to go along with six blocks. Her team-leading kill total is up to 206 this season while she ranks third in the conference with a hitting percentage of .298 in conference play alone.

100 Blocks and Counting
One of the more significant milestones to come out of this season has been the play of Allison Leigh, who recorded her 100th block of the season in just her first year as a Bobcat on Oct. 23 against Bryant. She becomes just the sixth player in program history to accomplish the feat and just the second player to ever do so in their first season with the team (Heather Wollyung, 104, during 1999 season).

It's a Block Party!
For as much as the Bobcats' freshman middle hitter Allison 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 1.35 blocks per set average in conference-only play and is one of only seven 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 1.35
2 Melissa McGwin NIAGARA SO 1.27
3 Roxanne Hernandez CANISIUS SR 1.25
4 Jacqueline Skeen SIENA JR 1.15
5 McKenzie Humann IONA SO 1.05
6 Mackenzie Stephens MARIST SR 1.00

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 104 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 the match hitting at .324 percent this season).

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.

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 206 kills to go along with a .224 hitting percentage but Leigh's most valuable role on this team has been her defensive ability. After 29 matches, she currently ranks first in the MAAC with 126 total blocks (40 solo, 86 assists) and 1.24 blocks per set average.          

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 367 digs to start the season.

Quinnipiac women's volleyball all-time career digs leaders

Rank Player Digs
1 Logan Riker, '13 1445
2 Kelby Carey, '11 1017
3 Heather Grutta, '02 918
4 Kayla Lawler, '11 819
5 Erin Overdevest, '09 814

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