University of Delaware Volleyball Prepared to Hold Home Court this Weekend
October 28, 2010
Photo: Kim Stewart (Photo Courtesy of Mark Campbell)
NEWARK, Del. -- The reigning Colonial Athletic Association volleyball regular season co-champions are in a familiar spot again as the University of Delaware volleyball team welcomes James Madison and George Mason to the Carpenter Sports Building and Barb Viera Court, on Friday and Saturday, respectively, at 7 p.m.
Delaware stands atop the CAA with a 7-1 record, but following closely are the Dukes and the Patriots, both with 6-2 CAA records.
Last Time Out: The Blue Hens return to the friendly confines for the Carpenter Sports Building after traveling the past two weekends. Last weekend, Delaware hit the road and headed north to take on Hofstra and Northeastern.
Hofstra gave the Blue Hens all they could handle, and then some, as the Blue Hens pulled out a 3-2 come-from-behind victory. After dropping the first set, the Hens needed to save six set points after trailing 24-18, and rattled off eight straight points to take the set in extras, 26-24. Hofstra didn’t go down quietly from there, as they took the third set before the Blue Hens stepped up their game once again and stole the match in the fourth and fifth sets.
Northeastern went somewhat smoother as Delaware took care of the Huskies in four sets. It took the Blue Hens a set to find their rhythm, but once they did, Northeastern did not stand a chance.
Northeastern came out fighting, taking the first set 25-17 before awaking the first place Hens. Tied 21-21 in the second game, the Hens rattled off four of the next six points to tie the match. The third and fourth sets were all Delaware, as they took back-to-back 25-18 sets to end the match.
For the weekend, Katie Dennehy led the attack for the Blue Hens, as she pounded out 31 kills on 88 attempts for a .205 attack percentage. She averaged 3.44 kills a game. Alissa Alker averaged 2.89 kills per game as she totaled 26 terminations on 64 attempts. Jess Chason averaged nine assists per game, dishing 81 helpers over the two matches. Greta Gibboney led the defensive efforts with 46 digs while Karina Evans held down the net with 12 total blocks. Paige Erickson was right behind Evans with 11 total blocks.
Scouting James Madison: The Dukes (18-5, 6-2 CAA) are coming into Newark winners of three straight and seven of their last eight, and most recently defeated the then first place Patriots on Saturday, 3-2.
Freshman libero had a career high 31 digs and three other Dukes collected double-doubles to lead the team past George Mason and into a tie for third place and only percentage points behind second place VCU.
Holly Wall totaled 15 kills and 13 digs while Danielle Erb tallied 15 kills and 14 digs. Lauren Fanelli was the third Duke with a double-double as she had 24 assists and 10 digs. Lindsay Callahan had a match high 16 kills with nine digs, moving into ninth place on the school’s all-time digs list with 921.
JMU won the first set, 25-21, before losing two set points leading at 24-22 in the second set. Mason scored four straight points to take the set. Momentum swung back in favor of JMU in the third with a decisive 25-16 win, but they couldn’t close the door on the Patriots, losing 25-20 in the fourth. The evenly played match couldn’t be decided in regulation, as the fifth set was played to extra points, as JMU fought back from a 14-13 deficit to take the set, and match, 16-14.
For the year, Erb paces the offense with 283 kills, 3.29 per set, while Callahan also averages over three kills per game with 3.28, and 282 total kills. They are second and third in the CAA in kills per game, respectively. Megan Wiechmann has 527 assists to her name, averaging 6.13 and Fanelli has totaled 413 assists, 5.90 per set.
Three players have more than 200 digs for the Dukes, led by Natalie Abel with 249 (3.15 per set). Erb is second on the team with 222 (2.58), while Wall has 217 (2.75).
Scouting George Mason: The Patriots (11-9, 6-2 CAA) are coming into this weekend losers of two straight, losing their first conference match to VCU before the loss to James Madison, falling out of first place. They will try to get back n track on Friday at Towson, before coming to Newark to face the Blue Hens on Saturday at 7 p.m.
Both losses came in five sets, with the Patriots having set point in the fifth set against James Madison before falling, 16-14.
The CAA Preseason Player of the Year Holly Goode led the Patriot attack with 15 kills against JMU, hitting .205 for the match. She also added 11 digs and seven block assists, continuing her all-around game. Lana Zonjic tallied 13 kills and 11 digs while Danielle Cook added 10 kills and four block assists.
For the season, Goode leads George Mason with 195 total kills and 2.75 kills per set, but she is off her 2009 pace of 3.17 kills a game and 3.70 points per set which won her the 2009 CAA Player of the Year.
Fanella paces the offense with 3.27 points per game, averaging 2.63 kills, 0.45 service aces, and 0.38 blocks per set. Fernanda Bartels is the team’s leading setter with 562 assists, and is fifth in the conference with 8.16 per set. Bartels also leads the team with 228 digs on the season, good for 3.30 per set. Kelly McCarter is the only other Patriot with more than 200 kills, totaling 217 and 3.24 per game. Kelsey Bohman leads the CAA, averaging 1.24 blocks per set in 62 games.
Across the Nation: Gibboney continues to crack the top 15 liberos and defensive specialists in the country, ranking 12th with 5.52 per set through games played on October 24. The leader, Haley Stein from Eastern Michigan, sits at 5.93 digs per set.
Erickson remains a strong force in the national scene as well, ranking 46th in blocks per set with 1.21. Brittany Hewitt (Hawaii) leads the nation while blocking 1.77 balls per game.
Chason continues to be among the top 75 setters in the country, coming in at 71 with 10.25 helpers per game. Jordan Clampitt (Tulsa) paces the nation with 13.35 assists per set.
As a team, Delaware ranks 31st in digs per set, out of 328 Division I teams. The Blue Hens average 16.84 digs a game. They also rank 31st in match win-loss percentage, as their 18-5 overall record gives them a .783 win percentage. The team is 61st in aces per set averaging 1.47 while being ranked 62 in the country in blocks per set with 2.33.
Home Cooking: Delaware comes into this weekend with the 15th longest home winning streak, beating 11 straight opponents on its home courts (Carpenter Sports Building and the Bob Carpenter Center).
This season, the Hens are currently a perfect 9-0 and have some of their best numbers in the friendly confines of Barb Viera Court (they played one match in the Bob Carpenter Center this season).
Dennehy leads the team with 109 kills and a .298 hitting percentage while averaging 3.76 kills at home. Kim Stewart has enjoyed her junior campaign at home, averaging 3.13 kills a set along with 18 service aces. Chason has dished out 327 assists in 29 games for a 11.28 average while Gibboney has averaged 5.47 digs per game at home. Erickson has 46 total blocks at home, good enough for a 1.53 average.
They have won two thirds of their contests this season in straight sets, while winning the other three matches in four sets, with the team hitting .268 as a whole.
Promotional Weekend: Friday, prior to the team taking on James Madison at 7 p.m., the team will give away t-shirts to the first 250 fans, compliments of the National 5 and 10.
Saturday is a Future Blue Hens Club match as all Future Hens are invited to join the volleyball atmosphere free of charge with a Club membership card to watch the Blue Hens take on George Mason at 7 p.m. All Future Hens are encouraged to wear their Halloween costume for some Trick-or-Treating fun. They will also have a chance to show off their outfit between the second and third sets.
Call 302-831-2257 to purchase group tickets in advance. Both games will be played at the Carpenter Sports Building on Barb Viera Court. Doors will open at 6 p.m. before each event.