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Courtesy: Delaware Athletics

Blue Hens Open Home Season This Weekend By Hosting Delaware Volleyball Invitational

Courtesy: Delaware Athletics
Release: 09/12/2013
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NEWARK, Del. -- The University of Delaware volleyball team will open its home schedule this weekend when the Blue Hens host the 37th Annual University of Delaware Invitational at the Bob Carpenter Center.

The Blue Hens welcome Furman, Rutgers and Sacred Heart to Newark for the tournament, which features six matches in a round robin format.

Sacred Heart and Furman will kick off the invitational on Friday at 4:30 p.m., before Delaware will battle Rutgers in its home opener at 7 p.m.

Saturday’s afternoon session will feature Rutgers against Furman at 11 a.m., while the Blue Hens will take on Sacred Heart at 1 p.m. Rutgers will then play Sacred Heart at 4:30 p.m., before Delaware and Furman wrap up the action with a 7 p.m. match. Following the final match of the night, the invitational champion will be crowned and the All-Tournament Team will be announced.

The Blue Hens enter the weekend with a 3-4 overall record, and last weekend captured the Radisson Cross Keys Greyhound Challenge in Baltimore. Sophomore outside hitter Katie Hillman leads Delaware with 94 kills this season, while her 3.76 kills per set are the third highest in the Colonial Athletic Association. Senior Katie Hank ranks second on the Blue Hens with 68 kills, while redshirt sophomore Chandler Bryant has added 56 kills and paces UD with a .284 hitting percentage.

Sophomore setter Mackenzie Olsen leads the conference with 10.16 assists per set so far this season, while classmate Ariel Shonk ranks second in the league with 4.92 digs per set.

Furman is just 1-6 this season, but the Paladins picked up a 3-1 victory over South Carolina last weekend at Clemson’s Big Orange Bash. Christina Dorismond has posted a team-leading 76 kills for Furman, while Ashton Gregory ranks second on the squad with 72 kills this season. Setter Jo Wilks is handing out 10.08 assists per set for the Paladins, while Elle Ross has paced the defensive effort with a team-leading 96 digs.

Rutgers enters the weekend with a 3-5 record after dropping a heart-breaking five-set loss at home to Seton Hall on Wednesday. Alex Lassa is pacing the Scarlet Knights with 110 kills and 3.44 kills per set, while three other Rutgers players have surpassed the 60-kill mark. Anna Sudbury and Nicole Bayer are each averaging over five assists per set for the Scarlet Knights, while Ali Schroeter has totaled 136 digs for a 4.12 average.

Sacred Heart has won four of its six matches this year, and posted victories over UMES and Manhattan last weekend when it hosted the SHU Hampton Inn Invitational. Dianis Mercado leads the Pioneers attack with 67 kills on the season, while Sarah Krufka has contributed 62 kills. Kiki Robinson has averaged 10.64 assists per set thus far, while Ana Gonzalez leads Sacred Heart with 78 digs.

Delaware is 1-0 all-time against Furman and Sacred Heart, as the Blue Hens defeated the Paladins in 1989 and the Pioneers in 2011. UD holds a slim 13-12 advantage over the Scarlet Knights, including a 3-0 win during the 2010 Delaware Invitational in the teams’ last meeting.

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