University of Delaware Volleyball Looks to Extend Streak to Seven, Even Season Series with CAA Rival Towson
October 26, 2011
Photos Courtesy of Mark Campbell
NEWARK, Del. - - Sitting atop the Colonial Athletic Association standings, the University of Delaware volleyball team will look to extend its current six-match win streak but rebound against Towson on Saturday night at the Carpenter Sports Building.
Towson defeated the Blue Hens, 3-0, in the first match of the CAA schedule earlier this season. The Tigers sit a game back from CAA leaders Delaware and James Madison. The match is slated to start at 7 p.m.
Scouting the University of Delaware Blue Hens (14-11, 7-2 CAA):
After a tough non-conference schedule to open the 2011 season, the Blue Hens have turned it on of late, winning their last six and eight of their last nine. The streak has vaulted them into a tie with James Madison for first in the CAA, but the Hens hold the head-to-head tiebreaker with the Dukes.
Saturday will be the middle of a five-match home stand for the Hens, as they defeated Georgia State and UNCW last weekend.
Junior Chelsea Lawrence hit .472 over the two matches, combining for 20 kills on 36 swings with only three errors. She also had 11 total blocks for the two matches, including a career best eight blocks against UNCW.
Alissa Alker led all Blue hens with 25 kills for the weekend, including a match high 16 against Georgia State. The outside hitter also added seven digs a match, seven block assists, and two aces to up her team lead to 25.
In conference play, Delaware is in the top half of the rankings in almost every category. As a team, the Blue Hens lead the conference with a .258 hitting percentage. The Hens also led the conference in digs, keeping 16.45 balls off the ground per set.
Although they are only seventh in blocks in conference matches, the Blue Hens are second in the conference while keeping their opponents to a .172 hitting percentage. Delaware is also third in assists (12.35/set) and kills (13.39/set). A big weekend from behind the line allowed them to move up to fourth in service aces (1.42/set) as well.
Individually, Renee Tomko is tied with Towson’s Alysha McCreary for averaging 0.45 aces per game. Tomko also sits second in conference matches in assists, averaging 11.06 per set.
Offensively, Katie Hank ranks fifth in the CAA in kills, putting down 3.39 a game, and is fourth in points, averaging 3.85 a set.
Scouting the Towson University Tigers (19-7, 6-3 CAA):
Towson is coming into Newark winners of three straight, after correcting itself from dropping three of its previous four matches. They defeated UNCW, 3-0, and Georgia State, 3-1, last weekend.
The Tigers easily took care of the Blue Hens on September 23, winning in straight sets, 25-21, 27-25, and 25-22.
The CAA kill machine Katy Buck led the Tigers with 14 kills that night, while McCreary added 13 and Dayane Van Ass contributed 10.
Reigning CAA Co-Offensive Player of the Week Aubrey Kirven tallied 40 assists in the first meeting against the Blue Hens and is currently 12th in the nation while handing out 11.64 assists per game.
Towson’s offense comes highly regarded, ranking either first or second in the major categories during CAA play. They lead the league in passing out assists (13.68/set), kills (14.81/set) and aces (1.58/set), while sitting directly behind Delaware in second in hitting percentage (.245).
Defensively however, they only sit middle of the pack in CAA play. They allow opponents to hit .203, which is fifth best in the CAA. The Tigers are also fifth in blocks, averaging 2.15 a set, and are eighth in digs (14.65/set).
Individually, Towson also holds a firm grip of the top of the rankings on the offensive side of the ball. Susan Gansor leads all hitters with a .368 attack percentage while Katy Buck paces the CAA with a 4.61 kills per set average. Kirven also leads the league in CAA play in assists with 12.56 per frame.
This will be the 71st meeting between the two programs, dating back to 1973. Delaware holds the all-time series lead, 37-33.
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